Sacramento – Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has recently spoke out about the excessive cuts from the California courts compared to many other states. The current $170 million budgeted for the Shasta County courthouse has been put on ice as a result of $1 billion dollar budget reduction over the next five years.
Because California spends about 1 percent of it’s state general fund for it’s court systems, which is less than the typical 2 percent of many other states, Justice Sakauye feels the amount allocated is far too short for providing proper justice.
The $200 million proposed budget by Govenor Jerry Brown is aimed at helping to postpone additional cutbacks, which includes delaying the repayment of $90 million in construction loan for the courts.
According to H.D. Palmer, Brown’s finance spokesman, the Govenor has tried his best to maintain stability for the courts system in the wake of the recession where public schools and universities are also enduring deep cuts. “What we have been able to do through a combination of fees and transfers is to keep operations stable,” states Palmer.
In February, the state judicial council voted to delay construction on eleven courthouses, anticipating the cuts in the funding. Money has been spent to repair damages caused by an earthquake for the Long Beach courthouse.
As the court system continues to be confronted with challenges for servicing justice to the public, it is clear that many cases will continue to be pushed back from seeing the inside of a court room. And for those cases already in line for their day in court, the line just got longer.