S. 1629 would change portions of the District of Columbia Official Code that governs the D.C. Courts system. Under current law, the budget of the D.C. Courts system, including the Public Defender Service (PDS) and the Court Services and Offender Service Agency (CSOSA), is funded by federal appropriations; thus, its expenditures are recorded in the federal budget. Among other changes, the legislation would allow the D.C. Courts System to collect debts and erroneous payments owed by its employees and to purchase uniforms for non-judicial employees. S. 1629 also would allow CSOSA to operate incentive programs for offender education, accept and spend gifts, and receive reimbursement from the D.C. government for the use of office space in D.C. Courts facilities. Finally, the legislation would allow PDS to use unpaid volunteers. Based on information provided by the District of Columbia Courts, PDS, and CSOSA, CBO estimates that the proposed changes would have an insignificant effect on federal discretionary spending.
Enacting the legislation would affect direct spending because it would authorize CSOSA to accept and spend monetary gifts. Therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, CBO estimates that the net effect on direct spending would be negligible. Enacting S. 1629 would not affect revenues.
CBO estimates that enacting S. 1629 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits by more than $5 billion in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2026.
S. 1629 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
On July 2, 2015, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S. 1629 as ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on June 24, 2015. The two versions of the legislation are identical, and the estimated budgetary effects are the same.