Gov. Tony Evers has announced an $8 million grant to the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation Inc. to support low-income residents who need legal assistance as they recover from the pandemic.
April 6, 2022 – Using federal COVID-19 relief money, Governor Tony Evers has announced an $8 million grant to the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation Inc. (WisTAF) to support low-income residents who need legal assistance as they recover from the pandemic.
The grant will assist in the creation of a new Wisconsin Law Help website and will provide additional funds statewide to civil legal aid providers.
In a press release, Gov. Evers wrote the following: “The grant announced today will allow WisTAF and its partner organizations to furnish civil legal aid interventions to Wisconsinites who face foreclosure, eviction, and other housing-related problems due to COVID-19; need legal assistance to access unemployment benefits, workforce opportunities, or health coverage; or still struggle with other economic hardships related to the pandemic.”
The State Bar has long supported additional and increased funding for civil legal aid services. Investment in civil legal aid is a wise investment for Wisconsin: for every $1 invested, Wisconsin’s civil legal aid providers obtain $10 for their low-income clients in the form of child support, security deposits, jobs obtained, and more.
Beyond that are savings in the court system where courts can operate more efficiently or issues can be resolved without court intervention. Wisconsin currently provides little funding in state aid for civil legal needs, using only $500,000 annually of federal money from the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program.