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April 30, 2011
Board completes work on Bar’s new spending plan

A Florida Bar budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year that projects a slight surplus has been approved by the Board of Governors.

The board, at its March 25 meeting in Orlando, received the fiscal plan from the Budget Committee.

“We have a balanced budget, all programs are intact. We did lose a few support positions,” incoming Budget Committee Chair Bill Schifino said.

The board voted unanimously for the budget. It will hear comments from Bar members at its May meeting, and then forward the budget to the Supreme Court.

Preliminary numbers predict revenues of $38 million for the year and expenditures of $37.95 million. That compares with expected budget expenditures of $38.2 (with revenues about the same) for the 2010-11 fiscal year ending June 30.

The largest source of income will continue to be annual membership fees. Those fees are expected to bring in $23.4 million, up from just under $23 million this year.

The largest budget expenditure will continue to be the regulation of the practice of law, expected to run at $17.2 million in 2011-12, compared to $16.7 million this year. That budget includes Lawyer Regulation, the Attorney-Consumer Assistance Program, Ethics and Advertising, Membership Records, the Center for Professionalism, and related operations.

About $13.3 million of that amount goes directly to the Bar’s grievance operations, including the Attorney-Client Assistance Program.

Other budget details include:

• The Bar will spend $4.1 million on communications with members and the public. That includes operations of the Journal and News and the operation of the Public Information and Bar Services office. This will be the second year without the Journal directory issue, which will save the Bar more than $200,000. The Journal and News are expected to generate $1.68 million in advertising revenue.

• The Bar will bring in around $3.3 million (down from an expected $3.8 million this year) for CLE programs, while expenses will run around $3.2 million.

• Revenues from legal publications, such as practice manuals and rule books, will drop from $737,800 to $530,000 but net revenue to the Bar will increase from an expected deficit of $172,211 this year to a positive $85,163 next year. That came about after the Bar earlier this year reduced its publication staff and outsourced much of the production work.

A complete breakdown of the budget is available here.

[Revised: 12-07-2014]