scales-of-justice

By Howard Mintz hmintz@mercurynews.com
Posted: 05/13/2014 12:08:03 PM PDT# Comments
Updated: 05/13/2014 12:26:00 PM PDT

SACRAMENTO — After years of budget bloodletting, California’s courts received a $160 million bump in funding in Gov. Jerry Brown’s new budget plan — although with some strings attached and a stern warning that the state’s judicial leaders need to do more to tighten spending.

The governor’s revised budget includes $60 million more than he proposed in January, tying the increase to a two-year plan for the massive California court system that calls for several reforms, including extracting more contributions from court employees for pension costs.

The overall court budget of about $3.6 billion covers everything from the state’s 58 trial courts, which compose most of the spending, to the California Supreme Court and the Administrative Office of the Courts, the judiciary’s much-maligned bureaucracy.

In a statement, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, who has been highly critical of the $1 billion lost in court funding over the past six years, called Brown’s most recent budget “encouraging,” although she indicated the courts need more money restored to provide adequate services.

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