SACRAMENTO—In an emergency session of the Judicial Council focused on the impact of the Governor’s May Revision, Interim Administrative Director Jody Patel reported that judicial branch budget reductions have significantly affected the Administrative Office of the Courts and will result in a fiscal-year workforce reduction of approximately 180 employees by the end of June 2012.
She further indicated that more reductions will occur as the second phase of her reorganization and realignment plan is initiated in June. The reductions will come from voluntary and involuntary layoffs of fulltime, contractual, and temporary employees, as well as a handful of retirements. Patel added that as of June 30, the AOC will have reduced its executive level directorships by 59 percent—from 17 directors to 10. Patel told the council that the AOC budget of $112.27 million was cut by 12 percent this fiscal year and she's preparing for bigger cuts next fiscal year.
“It’s important we make these changes,” Patel said. “It is a painful process for everyone, especially for those losing their jobs. But we have little choice. Our budget has been cut by 18.2 percent during the last four years. In addition, we feel that a realignment of AOC operations was long overdue.”
Justice Douglas P. Miller, the chair of the council's Executive and Planning Committee, said he was pleased that Patel was taking a hard look at AOC operations. “We’re also expecting that the report by the Strategic Evaluation Committee (SEC)—which we hope to get soon—will further complement what Jody is doing. We will look at her reorganization plan and the SEC recommendations to see how we can streamline operations without completely jeopardizing the services the AOC provides for the council, the appellate and trial courts, and the public.”