2003 Yellow Book
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Change Percent


General Fund 1,570,776,094 1,633,604,372 62,828,278 4.0%
Special Revenue-Federal 4,000,000 6,500,000 2,500,000 62.5%
Special Revenue-Other 163,465,648 162,197,572 (1,268,076) -0.8%

Total for AGENCY SUMMARY: 1,738,241,742 1,802,301,944 64,060,202 3.7%

Budget Highlights

The New York State Courts are established and administered as an independent branch of government pursuant to Article VI of the State Constitution. The cost of operating the courts (excluding town and village courts) is borne by the State pursuant to the Unified Court Budget Act. The mission of the Unified Court System is to promote the rule of law and to serve the public by providing just and timely resolutions of all matters before the courts. The New York State Judiciary carries out its mission through eleven different trial courts (courts of original jurisdiction) and through its intermediate appellate courts and its highest court, the Court of Appeals.

The Judiciary is included in the Legislature and Judiciary appropriation bill.

Governor's Commentary

The Judiciary's All Funds appropriation is $1,802,301,944, a $64,060,202 increase, or 3.7 percent over State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2002-2003. Of this amount, $1,633,604,372 is requested from the General Fund, an increase of $62,828,278, or 4.0 percent over SFY 2002-03.

The General Fund increase currently called for includes:

  • $18.5 million for negotiated salary increments and base level increases;
  • $37.2 million for increased fringe benefit costs;
  • $5 million for annualization of current year initiatives, including an increase in nonjudicial security positions ($2.9 million) and contractual security enhancements ($2.1 million);
  • $2.7 million for 16 certificated judges and $1.5 million for new city court judges and staff established in the 2001 Legislative session;
  • $3.4 million for contractual and fixed cost increases, including the Law Guardian Program ($1.1 million), legal reference ($1.1 million), Alternative Dispute contracts ($300,000) and postal rate increases ($900,000); and
  • $10 million for new needs, including overtime expenses related to enhanced security measures ($3.9 million), continued expansion of Drug Treatment Courts ($1.7 million), a shift of Information Technology funding to the General Fund from the Data Processing Fund ($3 million), jury initiatives ($500,000), continuing education and training initiatives for judges and legal staff ($500,000), and the establishment of a community court in Queens ($400,000).

These increases are partially offset by recurring savings totaling $15.5 million, including personal service savings resulting from the hiring freeze and savings from the early retirement incentives ($8.6 million); a reduction in financing costs ($2.2 million); and other nonpersonal service reductions for travel and non-recurring contractual services ($4.7 million).

The All Funds appropriation growth reflects an increase of $5.8 million for the Lawyer's Fund for Client Protection, $700,000 for the NYC County Clerk's Operations Offset Fund and a $2.5 million increase in Federal funding for Drug Treatment Courts.

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