Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate: S. 2966: District of Columbia Judicial Financial Transparency Act   [open pdf - 19KB]

"S. [Senate Bill] 2966 would change portions of the District of Columbia Official Code that governs the D.C. Courts system. Under current law, the Congress annually appropriates funds for the District of Columbia Courts; and its expenditures are recorded in the federal budget. The legislation would revise the financial disclosure requirements for District of Columbia judges. The revisions would establish new dollar thresholds and requirements for reporting to the District of Columbia Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure. The bill also would allow the District of Columbia Courts to collect fines, fees, and other payments via credit card or electronic funds transfer. In addition, S. 2966 would provide new authorities to certain judges and increase the limit for small claims cases in the District of Columbia from $5,000 to $10,000. Based on an analysis of the administrative costs of the District of Columbia Courts, CBO [Congressional Budget Office] estimates that the bill would have an insignificant effect on federal spending. However, the new financial disclosure requirements would require the District of Columbia to add up to one new staff member. Although the District of Columbia Small Claims Court could be presented with more claims under the bill, the number of judges addressing those claims would not be increased by the legislation. Cases in the setting of a small claims court are often more expeditious and inexpensive to resolve."

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