In addition, the five-year project to modernize the Supreme Court building "is proceeding on schedule and within budget," Kennedy told the panel in prepared remarks. About $115.5 million of the $122 million project already has been appropriated.
The "salaries and expenses" portion of court budget makes up the bulk of its budget. This 2006 request is for $60.73 million, a 6 percent increase over the current year, Kennedy said.
The proposed request includes money for 11 new court police officers, "including one threat assessment officer, who will evaluate threats made against justices and court officials."
Kennedy said the killings of a federal judge's family in Chicago and the recent killing of a state judge and others in Atlanta "remind us how important and necessary this type of police protection is."