$5 million appropriated for Civil Legal Assistance Act

first_img $5 million appropriated for Civil Legal Assistance Act Mark D. Killian Managing EditorThe legislature has provided funding to take the Civil Legal Assistance Act statewide.House and Senate budget proposals — expected to be approved as this News went to press — contain $5 million each to expand the program that provides legal assistance funding for family law, assistance to victims of domestic violence, elder and child abuse, entitlement to public benefits, including veterans’ benefits and immigration, for economically disadvantaged Floridians.The act has been operational for the past three years in seven circuits designated as pilot projects.Foundation President Terry Russell said the benefits legal assistance brings to needy families in overcoming barriers to increased stability and independence have been proven over the last three years and now will be available to low-income families everywhere in Florida.“I give every lawyer in this state credit for doing what they have done as pro bono advocates, because without our ability to demonstrate to the legislature that we were doing our share, we would not have convinced them to have the state do its share,” Russell said. He added that it took a strong grass roots effort as well as support from key legislators, including Reps. Dudley Goodlette, R-Naples, Joe Negron, R-Stuart, Don Davis, R-Jacksonville Beach, and Sens. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, and Lisa Carlton, R-Osprey, to get it done.Now, Russell said, the challenge is going to be to maintain the funding.Goodlette said increasing the appropriation for the act — which promotes family stability by often helping families solve problems before they grow to the point where court intervention is required — was one of his priorities this session.“The success that the Foundation has experienced with the pilot program, in my judgment, speaks for itself, and this increase in funding is a tribute to the really excellent work that has been done and to the program’s many significant accomplishments,” Goodlette said.In the most recent reporting year, Civil Legal Assistance Act funds saved the homes of elderly Florida residents victimized by predatory lending practices, secured child support collection orders, gained independence for domestic violence victims, and assisted the disabled to obtain federal benefits needed to survive, according to the Foundation. The money cannot be used to sue the state or any of its subsidiaries, and most of the legal services provided are outside the courtroom. According to the Foundation, 83 percent of legal assistance for low-income Floridians funded by the act was in the form of counsel and advice, brief service, referral to other agencies, and negotiation.Rep. Don Davis, R-Jacksonville Beach, called the act “a wonderful program supported by members of The Florida Bar” to provide legal advice and assistance through legal aid organizations.“The citizens served by legal aid normally have no other alternative when they need legal advice or assistance, as they cannot afford a private attorney,” Davis said. “A very good friend of mine, [Bar President-elect designate] Hank Coxe of Jacksonville encouraged me to support this $5 million appropriation, and the leadership of the House was also in support.”The funding will be allocated as provided in the law based on the poverty population of each Florida county. Last year, the pilot projects provided legal assistance to roughly 4,700 clients in resolving their problems. In addition, legal aid grantees educated nearly 9,000 people about their legal rights and responsibilities through printed materials, seminars, and mailings.“It is exciting that House Appropriations Chairman Joe Negron and I could make this historic investment in providing legal assistance to most at-risk families in Florida,” Sen. Fasano said. “With this new funding, we can now move from providing help in just a few pilot project areas to implementing a statewide program to help so many more families.”Fasano said the money may now be used to serve up to as many as 10,000 families, which almost one in five have someone 65 years old or older who needs help.“increasing our funding to almost $5 million, it may now be possible to educate over 40,000 Floridians about their legal rights,” Fasano said. “We are thrilled that now thousands more Floridians will receive legal help.”With statewide resources, Fasano said, the program also should have a “dramatic impact” toward reducing court backlogs and will be of great benefit to many of Florida’s senior citizens.Jane Curran, the Foundation’s executive director, also said a great deal of the civil legal assistance funded by the state brings in federal funds to Florida in the form of Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income, and veterans’ benefits.The Civil Legal Assistance Act was first enacted 2002. Goodlette was the chief House sponsor of the act and was joined by Sen. Burt Saunders, R-Naples, in the Senate. The legislature appropriated $2 million in the 2002-03 state budget, marking the first time Florida has provided funding for civil legal assistance, the 40th state to do so. The state funds were awarded as pilot projects and have only been available to serve low-income Floridians in seven of Florida’s 20 judicial circuits. In 2003 and 2004 funding for the pilot projects was cut to $1.5 million and $1 million respectively. The funds go to the Florida Department of Community Affairs. DCA contracts with The Florida Bar Foundation, which awards subcontracts on a competitive basis to local legal aid organizations. The Foundation also evaluates how effectively the legal aid programs use the state funds and to be sure that the funds are only used for purposes approved by the state. $5 million appropriated for Civil Legal Assistance Act May 15, 2005 Managing Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

Wayne Rooney’s Derby debut overshadowed by teammates

first_imgDerby insist all their players will be paid following reports they did not receive their latest wages which were due in their bank accounts on New Year’s Eve. Derby County new sign Wayne Rooney The Championship club had been expecting a new investment deal to be completed before the end of December. However, that had not been signed off which caused a delay in the salary payments. But a Derby spokesperson said all outstanding wages would be paid. It had been reported by the Daily Mail that Derby’s playing staff had been told of the delay, while the club have responded by insisting it is ‘not a major issue’. It is understood cash from the new investment had been expected on New Year’s Eve, but there had been a delay due to the holiday period.Advertisement Promoted ContentTarantino’s Latest Effort Will Probably Be His Best To Date20 “The Big Bang Theory” Moments Only A Few Fans Knew AboutYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of AnimeRyan Reynolds Does The Bottle Cup Challenge (You Better See This)10 Phones That Can Work For Weeks Without Recharging8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its Growth7 Universities In The World Where Education Costs Too MuchBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For Them20 Completely Unexpected Facts About ‘The Big Bang Theory’40 Child Stars Who Look Incredibly Gorgeous As AdultsThe 9 Best Robots In Movie History9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A Tattoo Club owner and chairman Mel Morris revealed in May that he was working to bring in new investment and it was reported that he has been in talks with a consortium headed by Henry Gabay, the co-founder and chairman of Duet Group, an asset management company. This has somewhat overshadowed Wayne Rooney’s return to English football with the Manchester United and England legend set to make his Rams debut when they take on Barnsley tonight. He took his place in the dugout as coach at the end of November for the home draw against QPR, but has not been eligible to play until the opening of the transfer window on January 1. Following Derby’s prior match against Charlton on December 30, Morris told talkSPORT of his excitement to see Rooney make his debut. Read Also:Nani: I was never in Ronaldo and Rooney’s shadow at Man Utd Morris said: “It will be fantastic to see Wayne playing here – it will be a big, big occasion for us. “It will be a great game and it has lifted the whole town; you could hear them singing Wayne’s name tonight so it will be a big lift for us. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 center_img Loading… last_img read more

Judge orders restraints removed from Eldora Training School

first_imgELDORA — A federal judge says the Iowa Department of Human Services must stop using a physical restraint at the Boys State Training School in Eldora.The judge called the restraints a form of torture in a ruling on a case brought by former students at the facility who sued the state over the use of restraints and isolation, and a lack of mental health treatment. The judge is giving DHS 10 days to remove the restraint device called ‘the wrap.’The judge is allowing the use of solitary confinement, but only to stop residents from physically harming someone, not as a punishment.  And the department is required to submit a plan for how it will improve mental health services and must appoint a monitor to oversee the changes.last_img read more

ANGER AS IRISH WATER STAFF PROMISED €7,000 BONUSES – FOR DOING THEIR JOBS

first_imgPeople in Donegal have been left to drink water like this….while Irish Water bosses pay themselves bonusesTHE IRISH Water crisis kick-started by the Donegal County Council row over the body has taken yet another turn – 299 staff are to get average bonuses of €7,000…for doing their jobs.Staff who meet the criteria of their employment contracts will get the cash, the organisation has admitted.It follows a row over massive fees paid to consultants, and being probed in the Dail this week. Irish Water MD John Tierney told the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee that so far, no bonuses have been paid but every employee has the opportunity to receive a bonus based on their performance.Minister Phil Hogan has defended the latest scandals, despite criticism from Labour minister Joan Burton.Local Sinn Féin election candidate, Noel Jordan slammed councillors who saved the council this week.“The people of Donegal had watched intently as it seemed certain that our local representatives would, at last, make a stand in defence of struggling families and vote down an unfair council budget. “Many people believed the promises that many councillors were willing to sacrifice their seats in a symbolic stand against austerity.“When it came down to it however, only Sinn Féin councillors and some Fianna Fáil councillors had the backbone to see it through.“I am particularly disappointed with local independent councillor John Campbell, who despite promising to make a stand, went back on his word, joined with Fine Gael and accepted the budget with some piecemeal adjustments.“How can Councillor Campbell call for a boycott of water taxes when he voted for our county’s water assets to be transferred to Irish Water? Where is the credibility in that?“The people of south Donegal deserve better representation than they’ve been given over the last number of years. I hope to change that.” ANGER AS IRISH WATER STAFF PROMISED €7,000 BONUSES – FOR DOING THEIR JOBS was last modified: January 16th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:000 BONUSES – FOR DOING THEIR JOBSANGER AS IRISH WATER STAFF PROMISED €7last_img read more