The current budget crisis in Washington and the fast approaching expiration of federal funding is beginning to have consequences in Colorado. Criminal Justice Act payments to panel attorneys and other service providers have been suspended until March 7, 2011. Friday, March 4, marks the end date of the current continuing resolution (CR) that is funding the federal government. As soon as Congress acts to pass a new resolution providing funding for the services, payments will resume.
According to an email from the Office of Defender Services, panel attorneys and service providers should continue to submit vouchers and courts will continue to process them by entering them into the CJA payment system. Once Congress makes additional funding available, payments will be made in the order in which they were entered into the payment system.
However, as it is uncertain what Congress will do at the expiration of the CR and when a full-year FY 2011 appropriation will be finalized, it is likely that there may be more suspensions of payments in the near future.