State Justices Worried over Judicial Budget Cuts

By: Morgan White Email
By: Morgan White Email

Several areas of the court system are in jeopardy this this week as officials try to determine how to make ends meet.

WBKO spoke with Kentucky Supreme Court Justices who are worried about how it will all play out.

"We are very concerned about the judicial branch budget," said Kentucky Supreme Court Justice John D. Minton.

Kentucky Supreme Court Justice John D. Minton is worried about the newest cuts in the Kentucky budget.

The Judicial Branch passed a budget in the House early last week leaving the Court of Justice $55-million short in its funding.

"Just like every other branch or office in government, we were fully expecting some serious belt tightening, but as the budget now stands, the judicial branch is going to take a very serious cut in its budget," explained Minton.

The Court of Justice will receive a one time funding opportunity for $30-million, till leaving them $25-million short.

State Supreme Court Justice Bill Cunningham explains how this will effect the state.

"One of the main things were concerned with is getting the deputy circuit clerks a pay raise. These deputy circuit clerks are maybe the most important people in our system, and that's in jeopardy now. Our drug courts which have been highly successful across the state are in jeopardy," Cunningham stated.

Although in a bind, Justice Cunningham hasn't given up hope that things may turn around.

"We're hoping that maybe we can have some changes made, and the court system won't suffer from these cuts," he said.

Still, in the mist of these possible budget cuts, Justice Minton can't help but question what caused this situation.

"There must have been surely some misunderstanding as to what the needs of the Judicial Branch are." exclaimed Minton.

The lack of funding would cause several problems including state-wide layoffs, the possible elimination of Drug Courts and courthouse construction projects.

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