Spring 2019 Gavel Spring Gavel 2019 - Page 30

ABA AND SBAND SUPPORT LEGAL SERVICES FUNDING D A N T R AY N O R ABA Delegate The ABA’s annual fly-in to Washington, D.C., occurred April 9-11. As usual, the pitch involved advocacy for Legal Services Corporation (LSC) funding. It has become a common occurrence for a budget-cutting White House to propose eliminating the funding. Each year federal legislators save the day and restore program funding. LSC funding is provided to Legal Services North Dakota (LSND), which provides 24/7 access to every eligible person who has a legal problem. LSND provides services throughout the state and has offices in each quadrant. The LSND office in Grand Forks is located in the University of North Dakota Law School, providing experiential learning to the next generation of North Dakota lawyers. Twenty percent of the annual budget for LSND comes from federal funds provided by the Legal Services Corporation, and this year, North Dakota legislators provided much-needed additional funding. HB 1516 increased state funding by an additional $100,000. LSND will now get $750,000 per biennium. Armed with that good news from our state legislators, SBAND’s LSC backers approached North Dakota’s Congressional Delegation. As usual, our congressional delegation was very welcoming to the North Dakota lawyers led by SBAND President Zack Pelham. In our visit with Senator John Hoeven, North Dakota lawyers were joined by ABA President Bob Carlson from Butte, Mont. Senator Hoeven was clearly impressed by the good work of North Dakota’s Legislature. The Senator’s Legislative Aide Caitlan Flis was more intrigued about the ABA’s advocacy for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Caitlan is a recent law graduate and mentioned she has the student loans to prove it. SBAND member and North Dakota’s new Congressman, Kelly Armstrong, discussed his own experience with LSND. As a litigator, Representative Armstrong was well aware of the work of LSND. In reviewing some of the ABA’s material, he recounted his own experience with judges in the Southwest Judicial District. He noted even without a lawyer, those seeking restraining orders are given a fair shake because North Dakota’s state court judges listen and render a fair decision. As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, Representative Armstrong has already put his trial experience to work when questioning some of the friends and foes of the Trump Administration. Pictured (L to R): ABA Delegate Dan Traynor, North Dakota Congressman Kelly Armstrong, SBAND President Zack Pelham, and SBAND Executive Director Tony Weiler. 30 THE GAVEL We caught Senator Kevin Cramer’s staff one day before he moved from his temporary basement office to the Russell Building near Senator Hoeven. Nonetheless, Chief of Staff Mark Gruman