2004 Yellow Book
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JUDICIARY (Summary)
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Adjusted
Appropriation
2003-04
Executive
Request
2004-05
Change Percent
Change


AGENCY SUMMARY

General Fund 1,623,604,372 1,710,487,929 86,883,557 5.4%
Special Revenue-Other 162,197,572 188,419,649 26,222,077 16.2%
Special Revenue-Federal 6,500,000 10,500,000 4,000,000 61.5%

Total for AGENCY SUMMARY: 1,792,301,944 1,909,407,578 117,105,634 6.5%

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.

Governorís Commentary

The Judiciaryís All Funds appropriation request is $1.9 billion, a $117 million, or 6.5 percent increase over the current year. Of this amount, $1.7 billion is requested from the State tax dollar supported General Fund, an increase of $86.9 million or 5.35 percent over 2003-04. The Judiciary is seeking 2003-04 deficiency appropriations in the amount of $20.2 million. When the deficiency appropriations are considered, the All Funds increase is 5.3 percent and the State tax dollar supported General Fund increase is 4.5 percent.

The requested General Fund increase includes:

  • $70 million for increased fringe benefit costs;
  • $17.4 million for negotiated salary increments;
  • $7.2 million for contracts and other fixed cost increases, including legal reference and the Law Guardian Program;
  • $5.9 million for annualization of current year initiatives, primarily for security enhancements; and
  • $5.9 million for new or expanded activities, including security equipment, continued expansion of Drug Treatment Courts and night court in New York City, a shift of information technology funding to the General Fund from the Data Processing Fund, and for the Court Appointed Special Advocates Program.

These General Fund increases are partially offset by recurring savings totaling $19.5 million from personal service and non-personal service, resulting in a net increase of $86.9 million. The All Funds appropriation growth reflects a new appropriation of $25 million for the increase in reimbursement rates for law guardians pursuant to Chapter 62 of the Laws of 2003 and a $4 million increase in Federal funding for problem solving courts.

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Note: The Judiciary has indicated in its budget request the need for State Fiscal Year 2003-04 deficiency appropriations. However, such appropriations are not included in the Executiveís budget submission. Consequently it has been brought to the attention of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee that a controversy exists with regard to the submission of the Judiciary budget involving interpretation of Article VII Sections 1 and 2 of the State Constitution. The failure of the Committee to include in its analysis items not submitted by the Governor does not indicate acquiescence by the Committee or the Assembly that such failure to submit such items is constitutional.

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