Media Effort For Court Budget Increase Continues

“Justice doesn’t come cheap,” begins the editorial in The Sacramento Bee, adding that “California’s top court official has put out a price tag for the Legislature and public to ponder – $1.2 billion. That’s how much more the judicial branch needs annually by 2016-17 to recover from four years of steep budget cuts and restore a fully functioning court system.”
Say what you will of California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, you have to admit she’s working the state’s mainstream media in hopes of getting more cash for the courts. The SacBee is the latest to note that she is rejecting the governor’s “$105 million” increase, saying it will mean more layoffs. The state capitol newspaper writes that “… Cantil-Sakauye asserts – and the Legislative Analyst’s Office agrees – that because the courts can’t dip into reserves as they did the last two years, that would be a net reduction….” She says another $161.5 million will just “tread water” and keep the current level of services, plus cover an increase in employee health and retirement costs.
The paper also notes that “… the Judicial Council must accept some responsibility. Before pulling the plug in 2012, it wasted hundreds of millions of dollars on a badly botched statewide computer system designed to bring the courts into the 21st century. Administrative offices got fat. There’s more work to do to make the courts more efficient.” Truly, the budget games have begun.
Read more here.