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Funding/Budget - Annual Report 2016

Congress provides funding to the Judiciary to carry out its constitutional duties and also appropriates money to the General Services Administration (GSA) for courthouse construction. The Judiciary is committed to spending public funds in a responsible and cost-efficient way.

FY 2016 Funding for the Judiciary

Fiscal year (FY) 2016 (October 1, 2015, to September 30, 2016) began with a short-term temporary spending measure – known as a continuing resolution (CR) – that funded the federal government until FY 2016 appropriations bills were enacted. On December 18, 2015, the President signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 (Public Law 114-113), a 12-bill omnibus spending measure funding the federal government for FY 2016. The act provided the Judiciary with $6.78 billion in discretionary appropriations, a 1.2 percent increase over the previous fiscal year. It was the third consecutive year that the Judiciary received essentially full funding, and as a result, initiatives vital to its operations were undertaken.

FY 2016 Courthouse Funding

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 provided $948 million in lump-sum funding to GSA for the construction of courthouses on the Judiciary’s Courthouse Project Priorities (CPP) plan. Congress fully funded construction of the top eight courthouse projects on the CPP, located in Nashville, TN; Toledo, OH; Charlotte, NC; Des Moines, IA; Greenville, SC; Anniston, AL; Savannah, GA; and San Antonio, TX.  Additionally, Congress provided partial construction funding for the ninth project on the CPP, the federal courthouse in Harrisburg, PA.  The act also included $53 million for new construction and acquisition of federal buildings that jointly house U.S. courthouses and other federal agencies in Greenville, MS, and Rutland, VT. In late 2016, the House and Senate provided the necessary authorizations for the projects, clearing the way for the Administrative Office (AO), the courts, and GSA to work together to move forward with design and construction. 

FY 2017 Funding for the Judiciary

Congress completed work on one of the 12 appropriations bills prior to the October 1, 2016, start of fiscal year 2017. As a result, the federal government, including the Judiciary, operated under a CR that ran through December 9, 2016. After the national elections in November 2016, the President-elect and the congressional leadership agreed to extend the CR to April 28, 2017, to give the incoming administration time to establish its budget priorities for the government and to allow the Senate to focus on confirmation hearings for new presidential appointees.

The continuing resolution called for the government to operate at fiscal year 2016 levels minus a 0.2 percent across-the-board cut.

Because Congress did not provide full-year appropriations at the start of the fiscal year, the Judicial Conference Executive Committee put in place an interim FY 2017 financial plan for accounts covering salaries and expenses, defender services, court security, and juror fees, postponing final decisions until full-year appropriations are available.