March 2017 e-newsletter  
                                                                   View this email in your browser
What is Civil Legal Aid?
Civil legal aid helps ensure fairness for all in the justice system, regardless of how much money they have. But what is civil legal aid?  You can find out in 75 seconds flat by clicking on the IEJF's animated advocacy video above. Spurred to action? Click here to contact your state legislators and voice your support for state funding for civil legal aid.
Leading the Effort to Reinstate IL Funding for Civil Legal Aid 
Senator Toi Hutchinson
Representative Patti Bellock
State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-40) and Representative Patti Bellock (R-47) value the legal aid services provided by IEJF’s grantee organizations to constituents all over the state impacted by domestic violence, foreclosure and consumer fraud.  They are leading the charge to reinstate funding for civil legal aid in the fiscal year 2018 state budget. 
Representative Bellock, a longstanding champion of civil legal aid states "I am a strong advocate for restoring the funding for civil legal aid and the IL Equal Justice Foundation because their mission is extremely important in providing desperately needed services for women, men, and families who can really be just one step away from physical or financial disaster."
“Accessing justice through our legal system should not be denied to any Illinoisan because of a lack of financial resources," adds Senator Hutchinson. “Whether it is a victim of domestic violence or financial exploitation, or a pending foreclosure or child custody case, the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation (IEJF) ensures there are resources in our communities with all of the necessary tools to empower families and guarantee fairness in our legal system.”  READ MORE.
We Asked, You Answered
Thank you to all of our supporters who submitted virtual witness slips in support of the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation’s civil legal aid appropriation in Attorney General Madigan’s budget.  Attorney General Madigan testified in front of the House General Services Appropriation Committee on March 8.  Of the 168 witness slips submitted for the constitutional officers’ budget hearing, IEJF supporters generated 85% of them.  THANK YOU!
Your individual legislators need to hear from you as well.  The IEJF encourages you to use the Advocacy Tool Box on its website to contact your state legislators and Governor Rauner in support of reinstated funding for civil legal aid.  Democracy made easy!  If not now, when?  TAKE ACTION!
News You Can Use
Stanford’s Court Messaging Project, a tool for any court or legal services group to send automated messages to their clients, has now also developed a reminder system for legal appointments.  READ MORE.
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