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February 2006

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This article is in the news archives --- for current news go to the Third Branch News.


Where the Money Goes - Fiscal Year 2006

For fiscal year 2006, Congress gave the federal Judiciary $5.72 billion, after application of a 1 percent across-the-board cut. Where does the money go from here?

Of the entire Judicial Branch appropriation, 4.4 percent finds its way to the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the Court of International Trade, the Administrative Office, the Federal Judicial Center, the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and the Judiciary Trust Fund. The lion’s share, 95.6 percent, goes to the Courts of Appeals and District Courts, and other judicial services accounts.

Here’s how the courts’ funding is divided: 79.1 percent is for the court Salaries and Expenses account. Thirteen percent funds federal public defender and community defender organizations, compensation for private attorneys representing indigent defendants, and fees of persons providing investigative, expert, and other services under the Criminal Justice Act. Court Security receives 6.8 percent, which funds the procurement, installation, and maintenance of security equipment; and protective services, including court security officers for the courts. The payment of juror fees and expenses accounts for 1.1 percent of the funds appropriated.

The Salaries and Expenses account can be broken down further: 21 percent goes to space rental costs charged by the General Services Administration, 54 percent for court personnel salaries and benefits, 9 percent for judges’ pay and benefits, 10 percent for operating expenses including such controllable expenses as furniture, information technology, and tenant alterations, and 6 percent for uncontrollable costs, such as postage and FTS phone services.