More Pushback On Judicial Spending, Lawmaker Sends Strong Warning

When the chairperson of a legislative committee appears at a subcommittee hearing, they want to get people’s attention, according to Recorder blogger Cheryl Miller, and that is what happened recently when Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield, D-Van Nuys, visited a courts budget meeting.
Miller, writing in the Recorder’s LegalPad blog, notes that Blumenfield told the group that “… while the state grappled with a budget crisis, court administrators sometimes have acted fiscally irresponsible even though fiscal responsibility was the mantra of the day… We’ve seen a failed computer system with years of cost overruns and nearly $500 million wasted. In the process, the courts took millions from trial courts — sacrificing access to justice — to keep the failed computer project running. This year, the court system will likely enter an agreement and spend $100 million more than we should to build a new courthouse in Long Beach.”
That is another indication of dueling narratives as the state rations access to justice. Miller writes that, “… reading between the lines, the Assembly’s top budget official seemed to be saying that if the Legislature does restore any judicial funding, it’s going to come with some serious strings attached.” It also indicates that not everyone is buying the idea that the courts are with “the people” on spending issues.

Read the Miller blog here.