Board of Governors adopts 2001-02 Bar budget

first_img April 15, 2001 Regular News Board of Governors adopts 2001-02 Bar budget Members’ comments soughtThe 2001-02 Bar budget, with the first increase in Bar members’ annual membership fees in 11 years, has passed its initial review with the Board of Governors. The board approved the budget at its March 30 meeting in Melbourne, and will consider any changes, including objections from Bar members, at its May 11 meeting. Following action at that meeting, the fiscal plan will be submitted to the Supreme Court for its review. The new budget will improve the Bar’s balance sheet, according to incoming Budget Committee Chair William Kalish, who presented the figures to the board. “The budget we have approved will take our $9 million in reserves to $11 million,” he said. “It will enhance the financial stability of the Bar so we won’t need a fee increase for a substantial amount of time.” The last increase in annual fees came with the Bar’s 1990-91 budget. Both Kalish and current Budget Committee member Jesse Diner have said that the increase in annual membership fees was needed because the Bar has increasingly been using reserves the last two years to a point where it is not fiscally responsible to continue to do so. Annual fees for active Bar members will increase from $190 to $265 and for inactive members from $140 to $190. According to figures presented to the board, Bar revenues for the current year are projected at $25 million with a potential shortfall of $1.7 million. For the 2001-02 budget, revenues will rise to just over $30 million, with an expected surplus of around $2 million. The largest part of that increase will come from annual fees, where income is expected to rise from $13 million in 2000-01 to $18.3 million in the new budget. The largest expenditure will continue to be on regulation of the practice of law activities, which is expected to cost $10.7 million this year and $11.5 million for 2001-02. Those functions include the grievance system, ethics, lawyer advertising, professionalism, and the Bar’s Membership Records office. Added to that are the unlicensed practice of law activities budgeted at $1.2 million for the current year and $1.3 million next year. One notable change is an increase in the amount of membership fees going to the Clients’ Security Fund. That has been increased from $15 to $25 per member. That will increase the total contribution from members from $983,310 this year to $1.35 million next year. The CLE programs are expected to cost $2.5 million next year, up $100,000 from this year. Income is projected to drop slightly, from $3.1 million to just under $3 million. The Bar’s public information, Journal, and News operations are budgeted at $3.5 million next year, down from almost $4 million in the 2000-01 budget. Sales for advertising for the Journal and News are projected at $2 million next year, compared with $2.1 million this year. A complete breakdown of the proposed budget appeared in an official notice in the April 1 Bar News, on pages 18-19. Those wishing to file comments or objections to the 2001-02 budget should send them to: Executive Director, The Florida Bar, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-2300. Comments should be received by the morning of May 10. Board of Governors adopts 2001-02 Bar budgetlast_img

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