Next Budget Milestone: Sept. 13

The next chance at revising California’s budget is Sept. 13, and already the judicial branch is finding that the governor is unlikely to treat it as a special “separate” branch of government. The Courthouse News Service has a telling story about last week’s exchange between the state’s Judicial Council, which sets policy for the courts, and the state finance director, Michael Cohen.
The meeting was a briefing on upcoming state spending process. The CNS reports that “… some judges were more specific in their concerns, such as the governor’s plan to sweep the trial courts’ reserve funds, used to meet obligations like payroll, into one statewide pot. Under the plan, courts are to keep only one percent of their operating budgets in reserve.” That’s a problem for some systems because each of the state’s 58 court systems is, in effect, an independent entity for many functions like paying bills.
Director Cohen also noted that the days of a governor simply taking the judicial budget and “passing it on” to the legislature are unlikely to return. Read the Courthouse News story here.