Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Judicial Branch Budget Update from Chief Justice

The following message from Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye (sent yesterday, Monday, May 16) was forwarded to members of the Bench-Bar Coalition earlier today.  Links to the Department of Finance and Legislative Counsel web sites have been added for those who wish to delve deeper.

* * * * * * *
Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye
"This morning, the Governor released his May revision for the 2011-2012 fiscal year budget. Although the budget shortfall was reduced by the increased revenues recently reported, the Governor stated that a $10.8 billion solution is still needed to erase the remaining $9.6 billion deficit and build a $1.2 billion reserve. The Governor’s “May Revise” continues to assume an extension of taxes, however, the higher revenues allowed for reduced tax extensions. Under the plan, there are no further reductions to the judicial branch budget, beyond the $200 million approved by the Legislature earlier this year. Specifically, the May Revise included the following items related to judicial branch funding:

AB 109: Criminal Justice Realignment. The Governor’s revised State Budget augments the judicial branch budget by $41.8 million to carry out the new court responsibility of hearing petitions for parole revocation under the Criminal Justice Alignment Act of 2011 (Stats. 2011, ch. 15). This amount reflects the Governor’s decision to narrow the court role and responsibility to that of making final revocation decisions only, rather than the broader responsibilities enacted in AB 109. Supervising agencies will have increased control and direction to manage discharge proceedings, custody credits, modification of terms and conditions of parole, and imposition of intermediate sanctions. Administrative Office of the Courts staff and the Judicial Council’s Working Group on Criminal Justice Realignment will be working with the Administration and other stakeholders to draft the trailer bill language to carry this out.

"Court Security. The amount of funding for sheriffs’ court security was increased from $485 million to $497.8 million. The increase includes new funding of $10.7 million reflecting an inflation factor of 2.2 percent. While we do not yet have updated fiscal year 2011-2012 security cost increase information, this inflation factor adjustment is meant to address the proposed court security costs in 2011-2012. The increased amount also reflects $2.5 million for additional security costs associated with the parole revocation hearing workload.

"On May 9, 2011, members of the Ad Hoc Court Security Realignment Working Group met with high level representatives of the administration and the Department of Finance, as well as representatives of the California State Sheriffs Association and the California State Association of Counties to discuss the Governor’s court security realignment proposal. Although there was broad agreement that the funding to be “realigned” from the judicial branch budget to the counties must be used to provide court security, one critical issue that still requires resolution is the obligation of counties to provide the historic levels of funding and service they have provided for court security in addition to the amounts provided by the judicial branch.

"Court-appointed Counsel. $2.6 million in additional funding is provided on a one-time basis in fiscal year 2010-2011 to address a projected shortfall in current year funding for court-appointed counsel in appellate proceedings.

"We will keep you apprised of developments as the budget process continues."

Tani Cantil-Sakauye
Chief Justice of California

No comments:

Post a Comment