|The State Bar Board of Governors last month approved a tentative budget
for the year 2000 which would require annual dues of $384 per active member.
proposed general fund, supported mostly by member dues, would total $49.5 million in 2000.
However, the budget is preliminary and subject to change.
The general fund does not include self-funded programs: admissions, sections, legal
specialization, and the legal services trust fund.
The bar has not been fully funded since the end of 1997, when former Gov. Pete Wilson
vetoed the dues bill for 1998. Sen. Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena, and two bar critics have
introduced spot bills on the bar this session, but none contains a dues amount or other
Dues of $384 represent a significant reduction from the $458 in the bill Wilson vetoed,
but are higher than the $295 he supported last year.
The board also approved spending $502,000 this year on discretionary activities,
including beefing up the general counsel's office, communications and research.
The general counsel will get about $77,500 to work on its defense of Brosterhous v.
State Bar and other civil litigation and transactional matters. The Brosterhous case
challenges the bar's "Hudson deduction" check-off on dues statements for certain
lobbying activities. It is set for trial in Sacramento May 10.
About $120,000 of the money will be used for program development, which includes such
activities as working with volunteers, technical assistance for pro bono programs, and
staffing the California Young Lawyers Association (CYLA).
The board chose not to spend $90,000 to search for a replacement for executive director
Steven A. Nissen, who resigned to take a job in Gov. Gray Davis' administration. Instead,
it approved seeking bids from executive search firms.