2022 ended with good news for several CBF advocacy priorities, with a significant increase in federal funding for legal aid and passage of an important judicial security bill at the federal level as well as the passage of a bill to improve access to the name change process in Illinois.
First, Congress approved a $71 million increase in funding for the Legal Services Corporation, an almost 15% increase from last year’s level that was approved with strong bipartisan support. That increase translates to an increase of more than $2 million for legal aid programs in Illinois, and the Illinois congressional delegation played a big role in this success. Special thanks to Senator Dick Durbin and Congressman Mike Quigley for their longtime leadership on legal aid and access to justice issues and to our entire Illinois congressional delegation for their ongoing strong support of LSC.
Second, Congress also passed the Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act, which brings much-needed improvements to the security and privacy of our federal judges.
And lastly, at the state level, right after the new year at the end of the General Assembly’s lame duck session, the Illinois General Assembly passed a bill to modernize, simplify, and increase access to the name change process. Special thanks to Representative Kelly Cassidy and Senator Bill Cunningham for their leadership in getting this bill passed, passed, and to all the Senators and Representatives who supported the bill, which now goes to the Governor for final approval.