Standing Committee on Budget and Finance

Alan S. Anderson, chair

The Standing Committee on Budget and Finance met on March 15, 2011, to review the staff’s proposal for the 2011-12 operating budget.  The committee agreed to a $25 reduction of dues for active members and a $12.50 reduction for associate members.  Further, the committee voted to transfer $100,000 from the Administration and Finance Account to the Clients’ Protection Fund, and added a contingency of $25,000 to the Virginia State Bar Annual Meeting budget in order to permit the Better Annual Meeting Committee to consider ways to attract more lawyers to the meeting.  Immediately following the meeting, the proposed budget was sent to the chief justice and all members of the Supreme Court of Virginia for their review.  The proposed budget was reviewed by the VSB Executive Committee on March 31, 2011, and recommended for approval to the VSB Council. The Supreme Court approved the proposed budget shortly before the council meeting. On June 16, 2011, the council approved an operating budget for fiscal year 2011-12 totaling $12,771,073.

This budget reflected an increase of $477,896 over the budget for the prior fiscal year, which ended on June 30, 2011.  The increase was principally reflected by a $250,000 line item in the Information Technology budget for the Enterprise Content Management project — a document management project that had been on hold for several years — and a $50,000 line item for Web-based services for bar members. Additionally the committee increased outside contractual services by $34,000 to account for merchant fees that will be incurred as a result of VSB accepting credit cards for dues payments. Finally, the committee agreed to budget an additional $10,000 to reimburse travel expenses for all six VSB appointees to the American Bar Association House of Delegates.  In past years only the three VSB officers received travel reimbursement.

The committee continues to evaluate carefully the appropriate levels of reserves for the bar, particularly given this past year’s efforts by the legislature to transfer some of the reserves to the Commonwealth’s General Fund. The committee has concluded from current long-range operating plan projections that no dues increase will be required for the next several budget cycles.

Updated: Jul 25, 2011