California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye joined state lawmakers and other advocates for increased judicial funding today in Sacramento to unveil her three year blueprint for re-investing in the state’s courts.
The blueprint asks the state for more than one billion dollars in funding over the next three years. The Chief Justice says the state has been failing to provide a core governmental guarantee.
“When we can no longer guarantee timely access to justice, and we can no longer provide a litigant a courtroom in his or her community, of his or her peers, then we know that we are denying the protections of a democracy,” says Cantil-Sakauye.
She has commissioned a blue ribbon panel to study the effect of more than one billion in cuts to California’s courts over the last six years. Since then, she says, budget cuts have closed 51 court houses and 205 court rooms.
State Finance Director Michael Cohen says the Governor’s budget gives the courts $105 million this year. He says prior cuts are permanent.
California depends on gas tax revenues to maintain its roads. But that revenue is declining. Now the state is looking for volunteers to try out a new funding method, but volunteering could cost you money.
California lawmakers are considering imposing limits on short-term online rental services like Airbnb. A Senate committee took up the issue today.
California Governor Jerry Brown is calling on local water agencies to adjust their pricing structures as a way to promote conservation. But a state court ruling issued today could undermine those efforts.
California’s system of water rights is coming under scrutiny as the state’s drought gets worse. Today Governor Jerry Brown indicated there may be some changes coming to the century-old system.
Governor Jerry Brown has declined to say whether he supports a bill that would extend Medi-Cal to some undocumented immigrants in California.