SAN FRANCISCO—The Judicial Council at its July 20 business meeting approved a recommendation from its Trial Court Budget Advisory Committee to allocate fiscal year 2018-19 funding for the state’s 58 trial courts, including $47.8 million in new funding to boost the budgets of the state’s most underfunded trial courts.

“In the early years of my time as Chief Justice, my statements on the state budget have ranged from dismay to great concern,” said Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye. “But in recent years, I’ve welcomed the prudent and strong budgets for the judicial branch that will improve equal access to justice in California. I acknowledge the dedication and perseverance of judicial officers, court executives, attorneys, and council staff for doggedly advocating for adequate funding for our branch.”

“The judicial branch had a good year in the recently signed state budget,” said Martin Hoshino, administrative director for the council. “It takes a team to be successful, and I want to thank everyone in the judicial family for their advocacy. Courts are already planning how to use these funds responsibly to implement and deliver court services for the public.”

In addition to approving base funding for the courts, the council also approved $19.1 million in new funding for court self-help services—which support the more than 4 million Californians who go to court each year without an attorney—and $23.8 million for court employee benefits. Watch

Meeting Photo Gallery:

 

Branch Budget Priorities for FY 2019-2020: The council approved a recommendation from its Judicial Branch Budget Committee to approve budget change proposals for fiscal year 2019-2020, including requests for funding new judgeships, case management systems, courthouse operations and maintenance, and court security. At the meeting, the council also voted to add one more proposal to the recommendation—funding for court reporters in cases where litigants cannot afford to pay for their own. Watch

Updates from Council Liaison Visits to Local Courts: The council received a liaison report on the Superior Court of San Luis Obispo County. These reports give council members information on a court’s operations and challenges, as well as its solutions to increase efficiency and effectiveness in how it provides access to justice for the public. Watch

Distinguished Service Award Recipients: The council announced the three recipients of its 2018 Distinguished Service Award, the highest honors given by the state court system’s governing body.

An archived videocast of the entire meeting broken out by topic will be available on the council’s meeting information webpage.