Council to Discuss Budget Proposal and How to Increase Court Funding

for release

Contact: <a href="">Teresa Ruano</a>, 415-865-7740

January 16, 2014

Council to Discuss Governor’s Budget Proposal and a Strategy to Increase Court Funding

Will also consider plan for judicial branch technology that would provide a roadmap and increase transparency and accountability

Judicial Council seal

SACRAMENTO—At its public meeting on January 23 in Sacramento, the Judicial Council will receive an update on the Governor’s proposed 2014–2015 state budget, which was released on January 10. The update is expected to provide an overview of the Governor’s proposal, the budget analysis done by the Legislative Analyst’s Office, and the next steps in the budget process.

The update will also highlight the budget “blueprint” released publicly at a January 14 press conference called by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye. The budget blueprint provides a 3-year plan for reestablishing a fully-functioning judicial branch and will be used by court leaders in budget advocacy efforts.

The council’s public business meeting is scheduled for January 23, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:55 p.m., at the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), 2860 Gateway Oaks Drive, Suite 400, in Sacramento. The council is holding its business meeting in Sacramento, rather than San Francisco, because the meeting will be preceded by a day of council legislative visits at the state Capitol. A live audiocast of the meeting will be on the California Courts website, and the agenda and reports are posted online.

Proposal for Technology Governance, Strategy, and Funding
At its January 23 meeting, the council will also review a report and accompanying proposal from its Technology Planning Task Force that provides a clear structure, roadmap, and process for managing technology initiatives, and would increase the transparency and accountability of how funds are managed and allocated for technology projects in the judicial branch.

The task force is comprised of judicial officers, court executive officers, court information technology officers, and other stakeholders representing 17 trial courts, the appellate courts, and the public.

Other items on the January 23 council meeting agenda include:

Providing Interpreters in Civil Matters: The council will consider a recommendation to sponsor legislation to add a section to the Government Code to authorize courts, subject to available funding, to provide interpreters to parties in civil actions at no cost to the parties, regardless of their income.

Expenditure of Unused Savings for Interpreter Services: The council will consider a recommendation to authorize trial courts to seek reimbursement from the Trial Court Trust Fund for expenditures on court interpreters for: all appearances in domestic violence cases, family law cases in which there is a domestic violence issue, elder and dependent adult abuse cases (eliminating the current cap of $1.73 million on such reimbursements), and indigent parties in civil cases.

Bidding and Construction for San Diego Central Courthouse: The council will receive an update on construction of the new San Diego Central Court Building. The accepted bids are approximately $3 million or 0.6% below the approved construction budget.

Note: The January 23 and February 20 Judicial Council business meetings will take place in Sacramento, rather than San Francisco, because each of these business meetings will be preceded by a day of council legislative visits at the state Capitol.