LRB-0982/1
EAW:kjf
2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
March 2, 2017 - Introduced by Joint Legislative Council. Referred to Committee
on State Affairs.
AB115,1,4 1An Act to create 16.317, 46.40 (2m) (c), 49.823, 103.005 (22) and 165.257 of the
2statutes; relating to: the authority of the departments of administration,
3children and families, workforce development, justice, and health services to
4allocate federal grant money for civil legal aid.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill is explained in the Notes provided by the Joint Legislative Council in
the bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
Joint Legislative Council prefatory note: This bill was prepared for the Joint
Legislative Council's Study Committee on Access to Civil Legal Services.
The federal government awards block grants in support of broadly defined
programs. Usually, these grants are made to states, which then have broad discretion to
choose how to spend the money within the eligibility and purpose requirements
established by the federal government. Certain federal grants may be used for the
provision of civil legal services for various populations or purposes.
The bill establishes a legislative recognition that the difficulty low-income,
indigent, vulnerable, and at-risk populations face in fulfilling basic human needs may
be caused or compounded by lack of access to civil legal services and that providing these

populations with free or reduced-fee civil legal services to fulfill these needs can be an
effective way to eliminate or reduce the dependence of members of these populations on
public assistance or other government programs. The bill encourages the departments
of administration, health services, children and families, workforce development, and
justice to allocate, to the extent authorized by federal law, any federal block grant money
they administer and that is intended to benefit low-income, indigent, vulnerable, or
at-risk populations for the purpose for providing civil legal aid to qualified individuals.
AB115,1 1Section 1. 16.317 of the statutes is created to read:
AB115,2,9 216.317 Funding for civil legal aid. (1) The legislature recognizes that the
3difficulty that low-income, indigent, vulnerable, and at-risk populations face in
4fulfilling basic human needs, including food, shelter, clothing, heat, medical care,
5safety, child custody, and employment may be caused or compounded by lack of access
6to civil legal services. The legislature further recognizes that providing these
7populations with free or reduced-fee civil legal services to fulfill these needs can be
8an effective way to eliminate or reduce the dependency of members of these
9populations on public assistance or other government programs.
AB115,2,13 10(2) To the extent authorized by federal law, the department is encouraged to
11allocate federal block grant money that it administers and that is intended to benefit
12low-income, indigent, vulnerable, or at-risk populations for the purpose of providing
13civil legal aid to qualified individuals.
AB115,2 14Section 2. 46.40 (2m) (c) of the statutes is created to read:
AB115,3,215 46.40 (2m) (c) Allocations for civil legal aid. 1. The legislature recognizes that
16the difficulty that low-income, indigent, vulnerable, and at-risk populations face in
17fulfilling basic human needs, including food, shelter, clothing, heat, medical care,
18safety, child custody, and employment may be caused or compounded by lack of access
19to civil legal services. The legislature further recognizes that providing these
20populations with free or reduced-fee civil legal services to fulfill these needs can be

1an effective way to eliminate or reduce the dependency of members of these
2populations on public assistance or other government programs.
AB115,3,63 2. To the extent authorized by federal law, the department is encouraged to
4allocate federal block grant money that it administers and that is intended to benefit
5low-income, indigent, vulnerable, or at-risk populations for the purpose of providing
6civil legal aid to qualified individuals.
AB115,3 7Section 3. 49.823 of the statutes is created to read:
AB115,3,15 849.823 Funding for civil legal aid. (1) The legislature recognizes that the
9difficulty that low-income, indigent, vulnerable, and at-risk populations face in
10fulfilling basic human needs, including food, shelter, clothing, heat, medical care,
11safety, child custody, and employment may be caused or compounded by lack of access
12to civil legal services. The legislature further recognizes that providing these
13populations with free or reduced-fee civil legal services to fulfill these needs can be
14an effective way to eliminate or reduce the dependency of members of these
15populations on public assistance or other government programs.
AB115,3,20 16(2) To the extent authorized by federal law, the department of health services
17and the department of children and families is encouraged to allocate federal block
18grant money that it administers and that is intended to benefit low-income,
19indigent, vulnerable, or at-risk populations for the purpose of providing civil legal
20aid to qualified individuals.
AB115,4 21Section 4. 103.005 (22) of the statutes is created to read:
AB115,4,422 103.005 (22) (a) The legislature recognizes that the difficulty that low-income,
23indigent, vulnerable, and at-risk populations face in fulfilling basic human needs,
24including food, shelter, clothing, heat, medical care, safety, child custody, and
25employment may be caused or compounded by lack of access to civil legal services.

1The legislature further recognizes that providing these populations with free or
2reduced-fee civil legal services to fulfill these needs can be an effective way to
3eliminate or reduce the dependency of members of these populations on public
4assistance or other government programs.
AB115,4,85 (b) To the extent authorized by federal law, the department is encouraged to
6allocate federal block grant money that it administers and that is intended to benefit
7low-income, indigent, vulnerable, or at-risk populations for the purpose of providing
8civil legal aid to qualified individuals.
AB115,5 9Section 5. 165.257 of the statutes is created to read:
AB115,4,17 10165.257 Allocations for civil legal aid. (1) The legislature recognizes that
11the difficulty that low-income, indigent, vulnerable, and at-risk populations face in
12fulfilling basic human needs, including food, shelter, clothing, heat, medical care,
13safety, child custody, and employment may be caused or compounded by lack of access
14to civil legal services. The legislature further recognizes that providing these
15populations with free or reduced-fee civil legal services to fulfill these needs can be
16an effective way to eliminate or reduce the dependency of members of these
17populations on public assistance or other government programs.
AB115,4,21 18(2) To the extent authorized by federal law, the department of justice is
19encouraged to allocate federal block grant money that it administers and that is
20intended to benefit low-income, indigent, vulnerable, or at-risk populations for the
21purpose of providing civil legal aid to qualified individuals.
AB115,4,2222 (End)
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