SAN FRANCISCO–At a public meeting today, the Judicial Council of California voted to seek sufficient funding to ensure that state courts are open and accessible every business day of the year through all viable ongoing, limited-term, and one-time funding solutions.
“The level of reductions and unfunded costs facing all 58 of California’s trial courts is far too large and is not sustainable—courts will require additional funding to be able to avoid significant reductions, including potentially substantial staff reductions and furloughs over the next three years,” according to a report that was accepted by the council, the policymaking body for the state courts.
As part of its action, the council decided it would not pursue legislation to redirect substantial ongoing funding from the State Court Facilities Construction Fund as proposed by the Superior Court of Los Angeles County to defer a planned layoff of 500 employees in fiscal year 2010–2011.
The State Court Facilities Construction Fund was created to provide and maintain safe, accessible, and fully functional facilities for conducting court business that accommodate the needs of all court users. Many California courthouses are in a state of significant disrepair and urgently need repairs and renovations.
Rather than deplete funding planned for critically needed facility projects, the report urged a “broad and flexible approach” to working with the Legislature and Governor as a way to achieve financial stability for California’s 58 superior courts.