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Chief Justices Urges Governor, Lawmakers To Better Fund California Courts

CalChannel screenshot

California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye gives her annual State of the Judiciary address to a joint session of the California Legislature Monday.

CalChannel screenshot

California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye says the state’s judicial branch still needs money from the other two branches.

In her annual “State of the Judiciary” address Monday, the chief justice said the court system had taken $1 billion in budget cuts since the Great Recession. Little of that has been restored.

Cantil-Sakauye told a joint session of the California Legislature that all three branches of government are responsible for a fair and enduring democracy.

“And I think that can be achieved by supporting civics initiatives, sustaining innovative smart decisions that benefit the people of California, and investing in the future – including the judiciary,” she said in her speech.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s January budget proposal calls for a $180 million increase for the state’s court system.

The chief justice is also promoting a new kind of trial court that she says is intended to reduce recidivism in local communities.

Cantil-Sakauye says collaborative justice courts combine judicial supervision with rehabilitation services.

“Collaborative courts are by necessity responsive and fluid,” she says. “They are created to address that particular community’s specific need that reflects basically the ills of our contemporary society. They’re called problem-solving courts.”

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio