OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5148

AN ACT CONCERNING FUNDING FOR THE JUDICIAL BRANCH.

SUMMARY:

This bill requires the governor's recommended budget to incorporate, without change, the Judicial Branch's estimated budget appropriation, adjustments, and revisions as transmitted by the chief court administrator to the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) secretary. The law already applies these provisions to submissions from the Legislative Management Committee for the Legislative Branch.

The bill also requires the initial allotment requisition for each line item appropriated to the Judicial Branch for a fiscal year to be equal to the amount appropriated for the line item for the fiscal year.

The law allows the governor to reduce allotment requisitions or allotments in force up to certain amounts under certain circumstances (see BACKGROUND). The bill prohibits her from reducing a Judicial Branch allotment requisition or allotment in force unless it is submitted to the Appropriations Committee and the committee (1) approves it after a public hearing or (2) takes no action within 30 days of receiving it. As under current law, the governor cannot reduce allotments for a budgeted agency of the Judicial Branch but can require an aggregate allotment reduction of a specified amount, which the chief court administrator must achieve.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2010

BACKGROUND

Governor's Authority to Reduce Allotment Requisition or Allotments in Force

By law, the governor can reduce an allotment requisition or allotment in force due to changed circumstances since the budget's adoption, after reporting to the Appropriations and Finance, Revenue and Bonding committees. If the comptroller's cumulative monthly financial statement shows a General Fund deficit of more than 1% of total General Fund appropriations, the governor must file a report with these two committees within 30 days and implement the plan modifying allotments to prevent the deficit.

Modifications cannot reduce the total appropriation from any fund by more than 3% or any appropriation by more than 5%, unless it is a time of war, invasion, or natural disaster emergency. If the governor's plan calls for higher reductions, she can request approval by the Finance Advisory Committee, but any modification of more than 5% of total appropriations requires the General Assembly's approval.

The law prohibits the governor from reducing allotments for any budgeted agency of the Judicial Branch but she can require an aggregate allotment reduction of a specified amount according to these provisions which the chief court administrator must achieve. Identical provisions apply to reductions by the Legislative Management Committee for the Legislative Branch (CGS 4-85).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable Change of Reference

Yea

28

Nay

6

(03/03/2010)

Appropriations Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

33

Nay

18

(03/25/2010)