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Texas Access to Justice Commission
Texas Access to Justice Foundation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2011

Contact: Erika Gonzalez, Elizabeth Christian & Associates Public Relations, 512-494-2864 or egonzalez@echristianpr.com

In Historic Move, the Texas Legislature Issues Joint Resolution Commending the State Supreme Court for Its Efforts to Preserve Access to Justice for All Texans

AUSTIN, Texas – A resolution was presented to the Texas Supreme Court Monday, June 27, in recognition of their efforts to preserve funding for the state’s legal aid system. Rep. Jerry Madden (Plano), Rep. Will Harnett (Dallas) and Rep. Jim Pitts (Waxahachie) presented the resolution to the Court in the House Chamber. Sen. José Rodríguez (El Paso), Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (McAllen), Sen. Rodney Ellis (Houston), Sen. Steve Ogden (Bryan), Sen. John Carona (Dallas) and Sen. Jeff Wentworth (San Antonio) acknowledged the Court’s efforts on the Senate floor.

In part, the resolution reads: “RESOLVED, That the 82nd Legislature of the State of Texas, 1st Called Session, hereby commend the members of the Texas Supreme Court for their actions in support of legal aid services and honor them for their work in promoting access to justice for the state’s most vulnerable citizens; and, be it further RESOLVED, That an official copy of this resolution be prepared for the Texas Supreme Court as an expression of high regard by the Texas House of Representatives and Senate.”

Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan L. Hecht, the Court’s liaison for access to justice issues, was in attendance for the historic proclamations, along with fellow justices from the Court.

"Continued support for basic civil legal services for the poor is a high priority for the Texas Supreme Court,” Justice Hecht said. "With more than 5.7 million Texans qualifying for legal aid, the Supreme Court is proud to have been able to work with the Legislature to ensure access to justice for struggling Texans."

The Texas Access to Justice Commission was created in 2001 by the Supreme Court of Texas to develop and implement policy initiatives designed to expand access to and enhance the quality of justice in civil legal matters for low-income Texans. The Commission has created several initiatives to increase resources and awareness of legal aid. For more information, please visit www.TexasATJ.org.

The Texas Access to Justice Foundation (www.teajf.org), created by the Supreme Court of Texas in 1984, is the primary state-based funding source for the provision of civil legal aid in Texas. The organization is committed to the vision that all Texans will have equal access to justice, regardless of their income. The Foundation administers a variety of funding sources, which are earmarked to assist nonprofit organizations in providing legal aid to approximately 100,000 Texas families each year.

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