BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Lawmakers advanced a bill to help provide free legal counsel to low-income residents in cases involving domestic violence, child abuse, and exploitation of the elderly.
The Idaho House voted 38-32 Monday to approve the legislation. It generates money through a $10 court filing fee to help Idaho Legal Aid Services provide representation in certain cases, which can also involve veterans' issues and foreclosures.
The bill narrowly survived the state House, where lawmakers set a clear precedent early in the 2011 session that tax and fee increases were unwelcome when dumping a small fee hike to help the state police academy.
Republican Rep. Cliff Bayer, of Boise, says Idaho is the only state that doesn't provide financial assistance to its statewide legal aid provider.
Bayer's bill now goes to the Senate.