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December 2011

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

 

FY 2012 Funding Approved


The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 provides full-year funding for the nine unfinished fiscal year 2012 appropriations bills.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 has been passed by Congress and is expected to be signed by the President. The bill provides full-year funding for the nine unfinished fiscal year 2012 appropriations bills, including the Financial Services and General Government bill which funds the Judiciary.

Overall, the Judiciary received $6.97 billion, about a 1 percent increase above the fiscal year 2011 enacted level, and $206 million above the House bill and $36 million above the Senate bill funding levels.

"The funding level we received in the omnibus bill, while a modest increase above fiscal year 2011, represents a significant achievement. It is clear that Congress again made the Judiciary a funding priority," said Administrative Office Director, Judge Thomas Hogan. "The credit for this success goes to Judge Julia Gibbons, chair of the Judicial Conference Budget Committee, her colleagues on the Committee, judges involved in our congressional outreach efforts, and staff here at the AO."

The omnibus bill funds the courts' Salaries and Expenses account at $5.02 billion, slightly above the fiscal year 2011 level, and $224 million and $45 million above the House and Senate bills, respectively. The bill provides full funding for the Defender Services, Court Security, and Fees of Jurors accounts based on revised requirements for those accounts.

While fiscal year 2012 funding levels are relatively positive, they reflect two prior years of near-hard freezes in funding. Cost-containment initiatives undertaken by the Judiciary have mitigated, in part, the potentially catastrophic effect of low funding levels.

"It is critical that these efforts continue, especially as Congress is likely to further constrain spending in FY 2013," Hogan cautioned. "As Congress debates deficit reduction alternatives over the coming year, we will continue to emphasize the resource needs of the Judiciary and the impact of budget cuts on federal court operations."