San Francisco—The Judicial Council today made some significant decisions on how to absorb $544 million in cuts to the judicial branch this fiscal year.
Council members approved the following recommendations that were presented by the Trial Court Budget Working Group, which includes 30 presiding judges and court executive officers from throughout the state:
• $1.74 billion of baseline funding for trial courts for 2012–2013, including $3.6 million for non-sheriff security costs.
• $9.2 million in funding to support parole revocation hearings in the trial courts, based on anticipated workload.
• $385 million in reductions to the trial courts, as required by the 2012 Budget Act.
The Judicial Council also approved what each court will be required to contribute to the statewide reserve fund for unavoidable funding shortfalls, unforeseen emergencies or unanticipated expenses.
In other Judicial Council business:
Council members also unanimously approved an allocation of the $50 million appropriated by the Legislature for court facilities modifications for FY 2012–2013, as recommended by the Trial Court Facility Modification Working Group and the Court Facilities Working Group.
“While an increase from last year, this funding level is insufficient to meet ongoing and increasing needs within the branch’s approximately 500 buildings across the state” said Judge David Edwin Power of the Superior Court of Solano County, who chairs the Trial Court Facility Modification Working Group.
The Council also unanimously approved a revised and updated policy for prioritizing facility modifications.