Courts Budget Too Little, Too Wait

Those long wait times and delayed justice are not likely to go away anytime soon, given this year’s state budget focus on Gov. Brown’s bullet train project and increased education funding, say the early reviews of the just-passed spending plan. Says The Courthouse News: “… [the] $156 billion budget California lawmakers passed Sunday gave a $40 million boost to courthouse construction, but fell far short of the $266 million the judiciary hoped to raise for the trial courts this year… Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye unveiled in January a “budget blueprint” for the courts that set a $1.2 billion funding goal over the next three years, with $266 million more needed this year just to stay afloat.
Also from TCN: “We are nowhere near adequate funding of the [justice] system and nowhere even their own treading water mark, and that’s unfortunate,” Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, R-Camarillo, said on Sunday. “This budget simply does not focus on the priorities that Californians have set.”
What’s less clear is what political price, if any, lawmakers will pay for putting the courts on the budget back-burner.
See the story here: Courthouse News Service

Train, Not Courts, Lead Budget Talks

With the June 15 state budget deadline nearing, spending talks are apparently focused – not on replacing lost court funding – but on Gov. Jerry Brown’s plans for the $68 billion-with-a-b bullet train from Los Angeles to the Bay Area, according to the Los Angeles Times and other sources.
Writes the LAT: “… the governor faces another challenge as he tries to secure new funding from pollution fees to keep the project rolling. His effort is emerging as one of the most hotly contested elements of this year’s budget, providing leverage to Democratic lawmakers who have their own eyes on the money.”
You can keep up with the negotiations, but don’t expect any court funding updates, here: Bullet train funding is bargaining chip in state budget debate