An item on the Federal Report page yesterday incorrectly reported, based on a wire dispatch, that most of President Reagan's nominees to the Legal Services Corp. favored abolishing the agency and that the corporation's budget had been cut for two years. None of the 11 nominees confirmed by the Senate yesterday testified in support of eliminating the agency, and Congress has increased its budget since 1982.
The Senate confirmed President Reagan's 11 candidates for the board of directors of the Legal Services Corp. yesterday after voting down Democratic objections to two of them.
Minutes before a voice vote confirming nine of the nominees, senators approved Michael B. Wallace of Mississippi on a 62-to-34 vote and LeaAnne Bernstein of Maryland by 58 to 38.
The 11 have been serving as interim directors of the embattled agency since Reagan chose them last year, but their confirmation has been stalled in the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, where Democratic members have opposed Bernstein and Wallace.
Senate Democrats, along with some members of the legal profession, questioned whether Bernstein and Wallace are committed to the agency's role of providing free legal assistance to the poor in such non-criminal matters as divorce, rent disputes, consumer complaints and welfare benefit claims.
Opponents have accused Bernstein, as the panel's secretary two years ago, of scheduling meetings without proper notice and in inaccessible places. Wallace, a former aide to Rep. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), has angered moderates and liberals by advocating tax breaks for private schools that exclude blacks.
The corporation, created in 1974 as an outgrowth of an earlier Great Society program, has been under attack since Reagan took office in 1981. That year, the president recommended that Congress dismantle the agency and cancel the $321 million it spent annually.
Most of the nominees had testified before House and Senate committees that they favored abolishing the agency, which Congress has refused to kill although its budget has been cut for the past two years.