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Legal aid funding mechanism extended

A bill extending a major source of funding for legal aid organizations has been given final approval.

The Missouri House took final action on Tuesday on a bill that extends the provisions of the Basic Civil Legal Services Fund until the end of 2018. Under current law, the fund would have expired at the end of next year.

The fund’s money comes from court fees and makes up a significant portion of the budgets of the state’s four legal aid organizations.

Lawmakers last extended the fund’s sunset clause in 2007. An earlier version of this year’s extension would have gotten rid of the sunset clause altogether, but the 2018 date was added in the Senate.

The bill, HB256, now goes to the governor.