Budget Resource Center

"We have a tragedy taking place in our courts," attorney and NCSC Board member Ted Olson told an audience May 1, 2012, at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., referring to severe budget cuts to state courts.

NCSC's Budget Resource Center offers:

  • recent statistical snapshots of the fiscal reality of courts across the nation, showing how courts have adapted over the course of the economic downturn;
  • tools, like our public-opinion research on court funding and guide to funding principles, that can intelligently inform court budget management, analysis and strategy;
  • timely updates on funding news via our State Courts and the Economy newsletter and continuing coverage of the work of the American Bar Association's Task Force on the Preservation of the Justice System.

Percent change in budgets for 2013

Budgets & Funding

The 2017/2018 survey of the Conference of State Court Administrators gathered information from 33 states on the impact that the tough economic climate of the past nine years has had on the ability of the states’ courts to provide access to justice and the fair and timely resolution of disputes. The survey indicated that some state court systems (26.5%) are in better financial shape than a year ago and others (20.6%) are in worse financial shape. Sixty percent of the state courts are in better shape than nine years ago. Many states faced revenue shortfalls as a result of slower than average sales tax collections, tax cuts, falling energy prices and pension fund gaps. These states have fewer dollars to allocate to the courts. Long term, the states and state courts need to be concerned about projected cuts in federal funding for services that states and localities deliver.

Law Day ABA meeting

Analysis & Strategy

Let our analysis inform your strategy, through examples of court funding analyses; survey results showing how the public perceives the court funding crisis; NCSC's Principles for Judicial Administration; and archived material from each of the ABA task force summits.