$334K grant to be used to help Kansans reinstate suspended driver’s licenses

Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 1:32 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansans will have a chance to reinstate their suspended driver’s licenses thanks to a $334,000 grant from the Legal Services Corporation.

The Legal Services Corporation announced on Wednesday, Sept. 20, that it has awarded more than $334,000 in Pro Bono Innovation Funds to Kansas Legal Services. This is one of 17 organizations chosen to receive a grant. In total, $5 million was awarded to support pro bono legal services for low-income Americans.

In the face of a vast justice gap, LSC said pro bono services are one way it can address disparities in access to justice. It said low-income Americans do not receive sufficient legal aid with 92% of their civil legal issues.

By expanding pro bono and other volunteer services, LSC said it can assist more low-income Americans in civil issue areas like housing, family employment and income maintenance, consumer debt and natural disaster recovery.

KLS said it will use its funds to provide legal aid to Kansans with suspended driver’s licenses to get those reinstated or changed to a restricted status. This will remove serious barriers to employment and education opportunities.

“LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund supports grantees’ tireless efforts to expand access to legal services,” said LSC President Ron Flagg. “Pro bono volunteers are an invaluable resource for the millions of low-income Americans in need of legal aid.”

According to the organization, the project will engage volunteer attorneys and legal interns as they are given free legal training. They will be requested to commit time in time-limited clinics to meet with eligible clients.

“One reason I originally ran for Congress was to ensure the federal government works for folks in every corner of our community,” said U.S. Congresswoman Sharice Davids (D-KS). “Originally authorized by Congress, these new investments will help Kansans of all income levels access legal assistance and get to work and school safely. I’m always proud to support Kansas Legal Services’ mission,” said Rep. Davids.

LSC said it has awarded the grants from the PBIF included in the Fiscal Year 2023 congressional appropriation. Since the inception of the fund, nearly 140 grants have been awarded totaling $40 million.