Increase the Equal Access Fund (Assembly Budget Subcommittee 5 – Item #250)

The California Women’s Law Center supports increasing the Equal Access Fund (EAF) in the California Court budget. The EAF is an important partnership between the courts and legal aid to bring critically-needed funding to local legal aid providers.

EAF funding has been stagnant since 1999, despite the increasing numbers of Californians living in poverty.   At this time the EAF funding is not sufficient to provide legal services to even one-third of California’s poor and lower-income residents. Millions of Californians are unrepresented in civil court proceedings.  As a result, many Californians are unable to obtain meaningful access to the courts.  Even if they take advantage of California’s self-help services, the burden of self-representation is too great and many low-income individuals are simply unable to navigate the court system successfully and present meritorious legal arguments on their own.

Read support letters to increase EAF funding