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Public Statements

State Justice Institute Reauthorization Act of 2004

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


STATE JUSTICE INSTITUTE REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2004 -- (House of Representatives - March 10, 2004)

Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (H.R. 2714) to reauthorize the State Justice Institute, as amended.

The Clerk read as follows:

H.R. 2714

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the "State Justice Institute Reauthorization Act of 2004".

SEC. 2. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

Section 215 of the State Justice Institute Act of 1984 (42 U.S.C. 10713) is amended to read as follows:

AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS

"SEC. 215. There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out the purposes of this title, $7,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. Amounts appropriated for each such year are to remain available until expended.".

SEC. 3. TECHNICAL AMENDMENTS.

(a) STATUS OF INSTITUTE.-Section 205(c) of the State Justice Institute Act of 1984 (42 U.S.C. 10704(c)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(3) The Institute may purchase goods and services from the General Services Administration in order to carry out its functions.".

(b) STATUS AS OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES.-Section 205(d)(2) of the State Justice Institute Act of 1984 (42 U.S.C. 10704(d)(2)) is amended by inserting ", notwithstanding section 8914 of such title" after "(relating to health insurance)".

(c) MEETINGS.-Section 204(j) of the State Justice Institute Act of 1984 (42 U.S.C. 10703(j)) is amended by inserting "(on any occasion on which that committee has been delegated the authority to act on behalf of the Board)" after "executive committee of the Board".

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Mr. SCHIFF. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 2714, the State Justice Institute Reauthorization Act-legislation to reauthorize appropriations for the State Justice Institute through FY 2008.

Founded by Congress more than a decade ago, the State Justice Institute (SJI) was established to support efforts to improve the quality of justice in State courts, facilitate better coordination between State and Federal courts, and foster innovative, efficient solutions to common problems faced by all courts. About one-third of all SJI grants are devoted to educating state judges on how to improve the operations of their courts. The remaining grants are devoted to technology projects such as efforts to improve recordkeeping.

The Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, Ronald M. George, has relayed to me the important work done by the State Justice Institute, and I know his views are shared by a great many of the nation's top judges. In a 2002 report, the Attorney General of the United States also noted that the Institute has been effective and has complied with its statutory mission. In addition, he observed that support for state court innovation and improvement is a federal interest.

As a Co-Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on the Judicial Branch, I recognize the importance of working in Congress to ensure that we maintain a strong and vibrant court system in our country.

The last time that Congress reauthorized the State Justice Institute was in 1992. In the interim, the Appropriations Committee has continued to fund the important work of the Institute, and I have urged appropriators to support such funding to allow the Institute to continue its fine work. It is now time for Congress to act and to reauthorize this important program that will continue to improve the administration of justice in our courts.

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