SAN FRANCISCO—A subcommittee of the Court Facilities Working Group charged with cutting costs in court construction met earlier this week to reduce budgets on seven courthouse projects—in Kings, Merced, Sutter, Santa Clara, San Joaquin, Tehama, and San Diego counties. The two-day meeting was part of an ongoing effort under the Judicial Council’s direction to continue funding courthouse construction projects following significant judicial branch budget cuts.
The seven courts who presented this week have projects slated to begin construction in 2013. Working with the courts, the subcommittee was able to identify over $7.5 million in savings, an amount that is expected to grow as the review of these projects is completed. All construction projects will eventually undergo this cost review oversight process.
“Our subcommittee and courts with construction-ready projects are going through a painstaking process to make sure that the public’s money is well-spent,” said Justice Jeffrey Johnson, Associate Justice of the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, in Los Angeles, who chairs the subcommittee. “All courts are expected to reduce their construction budgets without compromising safety, security, quality, and the public’s access to justice. I realize this is a difficult process for the courts because they’ve already invested so much time, thought, and effort in their projects. Many of the courts we met with during these two days came well-prepared and with excellent suggestions on how to reduce costs. All of us—those on the subcommittee and those representing individual courts—recognize that the money we’re spending belongs to the citizens of California, and we’re safeguarding every penny.”