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Office of Civil Legal Aid

  Annual FTEs General Fund State Other Funds Total Funds
  (Dollars in Thousands)
Estimated Expenditures 3.0 33,434 1,887 35,321
2019-21 Maintenance Level 2.0 34,743 1,888 36,631
Difference from 2017-19 (1.0) 1,309 1 1,310
% Change from 2017-19 (33.3%) 3.9% 0.05% 3.7%

2019-21 Policy Other Changes

Children's Rep Study Completion 0.0 38 0 38
Civil Justice Reinvestment-Phase 2 0.0 7,737 0 7,737
Vendor Rate Adjustment - Pro Bono 0.0 600 0 600
Vendor Rate Adj - Maintain Current 0.0 3,078 0 3,078
Childrens Representation Study Ext 0.0 467 0 467
Kinship Legal Services 0.0 200 0 200
Childrens Rep Caseload Adj. 0.0 400 0 400
2019-21 Policy Other Changes Total 0.0 12,520 0 12,520
Total Policy Changes 0.0 12,520 0 12,520
2019-21 Policy Level 2.0 47,263 1,888 49,151
Difference from 2017-19 (1.0) 13,829 1 13,830
% Change from 2017-19 (33.3%) 41.4% 0.05% 39.2%

Policy Changes

Children's Rep Study Completion

The agency is granted reauthorization of unexpended funds from FY 2019 to complete the study on the effectiveness of early appointment of attorneys for children in dependency cases. The report is due in December 2019.

Civil Justice Reinvestment-Phase 2

Funding is provided to underwrite Phase 2 of the Civil Justice Reinvestment Plan to allow for the graduated addition of 40 FTE legal aid attorneys statewide. This will improve equity of access to civil legal aid for low-income people in Washington and represent a significant step toward achieving the “minimum access” goals of the legislatively approved Civil Justice Reinvestment Plan.

Vendor Rate Adjustment - Pro Bono

This funding will address significant compensation equity problems experienced by subcontracted volunteer (pro bono) civil legal aid programs throughout Washington. These problems contribute to difficulty in recruiting and retaining staff, which disrupts the consistency of volunteer attorney involvement in the delivery of civil legal aid services.

Vendor Rate Adj - Maintain Current

Funding is provided to address known and measurable increases in personnel expenses resulting from execution of a collective bargaining agreement between the Northwest Justice Project and its staff union. The vendor rate adjustment is needed to protect existing legislatively authorized levels of client service capacity including the 20 FTEs funded by the Legislature in the 2017-19 biennium to begin implementation of the Civil Justice Reinvestment Plan.

Childrens Representation Study Ext

The agency is granted reauthorization and reappropriation of unspent FY 2018 funds appropriated for the children’s legal representation study in section 28 of 2ESSB 5890 (Chapter 20, Laws of 2017, 3rd Special Session) to carry the study forward through FY 2020 and to extend the period of time for filing the study report from December 2019 to December 2020.

Kinship Legal Services

Funding is provided for the agency to underwrite statewide civil legal training, technical assistance, and support for volunteer attorneys providing civil legal assistance to kinship care providers. The work will be guided by an interdisciplinary kinship care legal services advisory committee.

Childrens Rep Caseload Adj.

Funding is provided to ensure the office has the ability to pay for mandatory representation of children in dependency cases as required by RCW 13.34.100(6), the costs of which have increased as caseloads have risen.