District of Columbia's local courts would see an $18 million reduction in annual funding under the latest version of the proposed federal budget, but the deal brokered late Friday represents an $8 million increase in funding for the city's court system from a previous version of the budget proposed in February.
If the deal is approved, local courts would receive $243 million in federal funding, compared to the $261 million appropriated last year. However, in a version of the budget presented in February, local courts were only set to receive $235 million.
The cuts appear almost exclusively targeted at capital projects, according to the budget text, as opposed to court operations and programs.
“The decrease is largely in the area of capital funding, which means certain renovation projects and facility upgrades will have to be postponed or delayed,” said D.C. courts spokeswoman Leah Gurowitz in a written statement. “In addition, as with federal workers, no funding is provided for cost of living adjustments (COLAs) for the Courts’ employees.”
Washington’s local court system, which includes the D.C. Superior Court and D.C. Court of Appeals, is funded exclusively by the federal government.
Local officials have been up in arms over the proposed budget deal, which includes several provisions limiting the city’s control over how it spends local tax dollars. Yesterday, Washington Mayor Vincent Gray and a group of other council members and residents were arrested protesting the measures on Capitol Hill.