Board approves 05-06 budget

first_img May 1, 2005 Regular News Board approves 05-06 budget The figures contemplate a surplus and no fees increase A $32 million 2005-06 Bar budget that projects a near $500,000 surplus and does not raise annual membership fees has been approved by the Bar Board of Governors.The board got its first look at the budget at its April 8 meeting in Tallahassee and unanimously approved it. A complete breakdown of the budget is in an official notice in this News on pages 28-29.The board will consider any objections to the budget at its June 3 meeting, and then submit it to the Supreme Court.“This is a conservative budget with adequate reserves and funding to operate the services that we need to provide to members, the public, and the courts,” said incoming Budget Committee Chair Mayanne Downs.“We gave some special attention to technology needs, mindful that it is necessary for an organization this large to have the adequate backups that staff has told us they need,” she said, adding the Budget Committee also looked at communications needs.She praised the budget preparation process that involved Bar staff and review by Budget Committee members.The budget projects total revenues of almost $32 million for the 2005-06 fiscal year, with expenses of almost $31.5 million.The largest budget item continues to be the regulation of the practice of law, which includes the Bar discipline process, professionalism, and the Bar’s Ethics and Advertising Department. Those operations are budgeted at $13.5 million in the new fiscal year, up from $13.2 million for the 2004-05 fiscal year.Of that $13.5 million, about $10.6 million is for the Bar’s grievance and disciplinary process. That’s up from $10.15 million for 2004-05.Unlicensed practice of law operations are budgeted at almost $1.5 million, with a $50,000 increase.Income from annual membership fees is projected at $20 million, up from $19.5 million for the current fiscal year. (The Bar has already exceeded that amount for the current budget year.)Other major income sources include $5.9 million for the sale of goods and services, including CLE courses, legal publications and the like, and almost $1.9 million from advertising sales, primarily for the News, Journal, and the Journal directory issue.Major expenses include $6.5 million to produce various goods and services, $3.5 million for the Bar’s communications operations, which includes the Public Information Department and Journal and News operations.One interesting note from the budget figures presented to the board is that the beginning fund balance for the 2004-05 fiscal year was $14.5 million and that budget was expected to have a surplus of around $400,000 to $500,000. But the beginning fund balance for 2005-06 is predicted at $16.5 million, which means the current budget year is now projected to produce a surplus of $2 million.In most, but not all, years, the Bar’s conservative fiscal practices produce a larger than expected surplus, or smaller than expected deficit.The new fiscal year begins July 1. Board approves 05-06 budgetlast_img

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