California’s Judicial Council held an emergency meeting in Sacramento on Thursday to discuss possible cuts to the court system.
Under Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised budget proposal, the courts would see a $544 million cut. Much of that would come from delaying courthouse construction and trial court reserve funds.
Douglas Miller is a Court of Appeals justice from Riverside County. He called the cuts devastating and said Californians are likely to experience long delays in the justice system.
“The court's going to still have to do the business, because business doesn’t go away," said Miller. "But their ability to do that in a manner that provides access in a reasonable amount of time, it’s going to change substantially.”
The governor's finance director told the Council that maintaining reserves is not a priority given the deep cuts to statewide services.
She said currently the trial courts reserve fund contains about $400 million.