Chief Justice Identifies Impact of Potential Budget Reductions

Legislative leaders asked the Judicial Department to submit a plan for a potential 9 percent General Fund reduction in the current budget period (which ends June 30, 2011), similar to what the Governor requested from executive branch agencies. The plan, and a transmittal letter from Chief Justice Paul J. De Muniz, is attached.

Briefly, the plan:

(1) Identifies broad areas of impact of a potential 9 percent General Fund reduction to OJD in the last fiscal year of the biennium. The plan does not detail the number, type, or location of positions that might be affected. That information will not be available until the legislature establishes the amount of any reductions and individual courts and divisions submit plans to address their share of any reduction.

(2) Notes that the $13.2 million potential reduction is the equivalent of funding all staff in every court and division of the Judicial Department for seven weeks, or to fund 277 full-time-equivalent staff for 10 months. Note this is expressed as an equivalent to illustrate the significance and seriousness of the level of potential reduction to the OJD budget, it is not the predetermined approach.