Wasserman Schultz Delivers $55M for Ft. Lauderdale Courthouse, Plus Tens of Millions More for Local Projects in New Federal FY 23 Omnibus
Washington, December 20, 2022
The scales of federal justice in our community operate under immense space constraints and unsafe conditions, and I am so proud to help deliver the $55 million needed to begin work and avoid further delays on a brand new federal courthouse.
Washington DC – Today, U.S. Rep Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) announced that the 2023 Appropriations bills released late last night includes an additional $55 million in funds needed for the construction of the new federal courthouse in Ft. Lauderdale, as well as more than $40 million in critical local projects secured by the Congresswoman.
The courthouse and other local funding projects were included in the draft Omnibus after intense bipartisan, bicameral negotiations between the House and Senate. The Omnibus is expected to pass both chambers later this week.
“The scales of federal justice in our community operate under immense space constraints and unsafe conditions, and I am so proud to help deliver the $55 million needed to begin work and avoid further delays on a brand new federal courthouse,” said Wasserman Schultz. “This is significant and positive news for all our citizens who rely upon a swift and seamless federal court system, and especially for those who valiantly move these wheels of justice. Combined with all the other critical local funding needs that this omnibus spending plan includes, I am so thankful and very proud that it will make life better for millions of people in South Florida and Broward County in the next year.”
Among the other projects secured by the Congresswoman in the Omnibus include:
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida is one of the largest and busiest federal judicial districts in the country. Its jurisdiction covers 15,000 square miles and serves more than 6 million Floridians, and sees nearly 10,000 civil cases filed there annually. The current 40-year-old federal courthouse is plagued by mold, chronic roof leaks and flooding, and has significant space constraints, and a $20 million maintenance backlog.
Further construction delays on a new courthouse will require Congress to spend more to repair the old courthouse. In 2018, Congress appropriated $190 million for the new 255,000-gross-square-foot federal courthouse, which was meant to cover the entirety of the project, including site procurement, building design, and construction. However, cost proposals submitted in August are 34% higher than the appropriated FY18 construction budget of $147 million. The steep escalation of construction costs in Florida led to the need for additional funding.
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