AUSTIN, Texas — As the 84th session of the Texas Legislature closed, $17.56 million in state general revenue has been appropriated for civil legal aid for disadvantaged Texans. In addition, the state budget will include a new $10 million line item for the Texas Supreme Court to provide grants for civil legal services for victims of sexual assault. The funding will be administered by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation. An additional $3 million has been added for expanded civil legal services to veterans.
The Legislature also passed House Bill 1079 that expands funding available through the Chief Justice Jack Pope Act that had been enacted in the prior legislative session. The 2013 legislation directed that the Supreme Court will receive penalty funds collected by the Attorney General’s office for violations of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act. House Bill 1079 that is now at the Governor’s office will provide for transfers to the Supreme Court for Legal Aid grants from violations of other sections of the Business and Commerce Code including violations of antitrust and identity theft laws.