Proposed Texas Budget Slashes Legal AId

Texas – Advocates say tens of thousands of poor Texans wouldn't have access to lawyers under a preliminary state budget that cuts legal aid by $23 million.

Legal aid supporters are urging state lawmakers to fund services that help the poor and abused get representation.

The Legislature provided a $20 million grant in 2009, but the state faces a budget crisis this session. While lawmakers deal with a budget shortfall of at least $15 billion, legal aid advocates are looking to other options.

James Sales, chair emeritus of the Texas Access to Justice Commission, says advocates hope that proposed laws designed to boost revenue will help bring in the $20 million needed.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.