ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The day after the Department of Law announced plans to revamp its Pro Bono Program, Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson announced a $759,000 agreement to provide further legal help to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.
The announcement was made in conjunction with the Alaska Legal Services Corporation, a private, non-profit firm, and involves using funding in HB 2001, which Gov. Mike Dunleavy has to sign before Aug. 30.
The agreement stipulates that Dunleavy not veto the $759,000 appropriated for the ASLC.
"Helping survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault is a vital service provided by our organization," said Nikole Nelson, executive director of ALSC in a DOL press release. "We are relieved that this funding will remain available and excited to continue our efforts in addressing the unacceptable rates of domestic abuse and sexual violence that plague our state."
The funding for ALSC comes from two appropriations: an estimated $309,090 from filing fees received by the Alaska Court System and $450,000 from the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. Those amounts were vetoed in HB 39 in June.
Dunleavy spokesman Matt Shuckerow told KTUU over phone that the agreement was a result of discussions that have been ongoing throughout the state since the original vetoes were announced back in June.
He said that there hasn't been any new funding to the state that can pay for the $759,000, and that some of the funding that is being restored will have to come from state savings. He also emphasized the Attorney General's role in spearheading the effort to restore the funding in order to help victims.
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