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.
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