CA Courts on track to get
increase in final budget
By Laura Ernde
Courts received a significant
budget increase in the final state spending plan inked last month, however
court leaders say it’s not enough to prevent continued court closures.
While this marks the second
straight year of increases for the branch, court officials are still struggling
to recover from the previous five years of cuts.
State legislators had voted
to give the courts an additional $280 million in operating funds, but the final
budget signed in mid-June largely tracked the additional $160 million Gov.
Jerry Brown called for in May. The exception was a one-time $40 million earmark
In a statement, California
Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye thanked the governor and the legislature
for the gains that were made, in particular the commitment for additional
operating increases next year.
“I am especially grateful to
all those who advocated on behalf of branch reinvestment for the public,” she
But she cautioned that the
ongoing shortfall will result in service reductions for the public, noting that
her three-year blueprint for the courts called for a $1.2 billion reinvestment in the branch.
“And while I appreciate the
work of the Governor and the Legislature in increasing branch funding,
especially given the context of this budget, the state revenues, the demands
and the needs – unfortunately it is not enough to provide timely, meaningful
justice to the public,” she said.