Lori Fowler, Staff Writer
Created: 07/02/2012 05:25:42 PM PDT
The 2012-13 budget for the San Bernardino County Superior Court system will be finalized later this month, with millions of dollars in cuts expected.
Cuts to the court system in the fiscal year that started Sunday could reach as high as $25 million, according to court officials.
No action has yet been taken on the court’s 2012-13 budget.
The 2012-13 fiscal year’s revenue is expected to be allocated by the Legislature to the judicial courts by the end of the month.
“We can’t set our budget until we know what funds we’ll be getting,” said Alan Crouse, deputy court executive officer for technology and facilities for the county’s Superior Court system.
While figures have not been finalized, one thing is certain, despite being one of the most under-resourced court systems in the state, the county is going to have to tighten its belt.
Officials are continuing to decide what needs to be cut – a figure that could reach as high as $25 million – to make up the difference for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
Options include court closures, layoffs and furlough days.
“We’re really looking at everything,” said Stephen Nash, the court’s executive officer.
“We had a hiring freeze earlier. We had furloughs and that saved money, but with the current cuts we’re facing, we’re going to have to go substantially deeper than that.”
Officials are looking at how many courtrooms the budget can support.
The San Bernardino County Superior Court system has 71 judges, 15 judicial commissioners and 987 staff members serving a population of more than 2 million.
But with looming cuts, officials said they are considering closing the Barstow courthouse.
“The kinds of things that we’re facing, closing facilities, are obviously not easy things,” Nash said.
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