This article is in the news archives --- for current news go to the Third Branch News.
Judiciary's FY 2007 Funding OK'd by Senate Appropriations Committee
The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved its version of H.R. 5576,
the Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, the Judiciary, the
District of Columbia and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act for fiscal year
2007, with $6.098 billion for the Judiciary. The House already has passed its
version of H.R. 5576, giving the Judiciary $6.063 billion.
August recess began before the full Senate could vote on the appropriations
bill. The Senate will reconvene the first week of September, but it is not
expected that the House and Senate will be able to conference their differing
versions of the appropriations bills before the fall elections. The Judiciary
will most likely begin FY 2007 under a continuing resolution.
The level of funding provided by the Senate Appropriations Committee is a 6.9
percent increase over the Judiciary's FY 2006 appropriations and $35.2 million
above the House level. The Judiciary requested $6.207 in funding for FY 2007.
The Fees of Jurors account was fully funded at both the House and the Senate
Appropriations Committee mark. The Court Security account was not fully funded
by either the House or the Senate Appropriations Committee. The Defender
Services account received $761 million: $11 million above the House mark, but
$21.7 million below current services.
The Committee's report stipulates that for FY 2008 and thereafter, "the
Judicial Branch's annual budget submission shall include a detailed five-year
plan for courthouse construction projects with a yearly update of total
projected future funding needs for rent payments and construction costs."
The Judicial Conference established a Five-Year Plan for courthouse
construction in the late 1990s. The plan follows a prioritization process in
which all courthouse requests are scored based on four criteria: the year the
building is projected to be out of space; security; operational problems at
existing court facilities such as the building's physical condition; and the
number of judges needing space. The Judicial Conference in March approved a list
of new courthouse construction projects for FY 2008, but has not yet updated the
most recent Five-Year Plan.