By Bob Beck
Cheyenne, WY – A number of low income residents in Wyoming don't have access to the courts and the legislature is trying to change that. The state Senate is debating a bill that would set up a program to provide legal aid for the poor. It would be funded through an increase in court fees and provides help with civil lawsuits including restraining orders and child custody. Cheyenne Senator Tony Ross says the need is great. He attended statewide meetings on the topic last summer.
"And it was an eye opening experience. It was a tear jerking experience. To see the unmet needs of our indigent population with regards to access to our courts."
Several senators expressed concerns that there are not enough restrictions in the bill. From funding issues to who can qualify for the legal aid. The Senate will debate the bill two more times.