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:
Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye opens the meeting by giving credit to Administrative Director Martin Hoshino. "All of his public service efforts, and I think tremendous skills, has led us to this very welcome budget that we have," said the chief justice.
New members of California's judiciary are introduced as part of their orientation. They attend the opening part of the meeting before returning to their training with instructors from the council's Center for Judicial Education and Research.
Los Angeles Court Judge Kevin Brazile gives the council an overview of court operations inside the San Luis Obispo Superior Court. He visited the court recently as part of the council's liaison program—which links council members with local courts.
Judge Jonathan Conklin, chair of the council's Trial Court Budget Advisory Committee, presents recommendations on the allocation of $47.8 million in new funding for the courts.
Sacramento County Judge Stacey Boulware-Eurie comments on the methodology for allocation.
Action items are placed on the council's discussion agenda at the request of a member and gives the council an opportunity to ask questions and debate the issue. Pictured: Council member Tehama County Judge Todd Bottke.
Judicial Branch Budget Committee Chair Judge David Rubin recommends the council approve requests for funding new judgeships, case management systems, courthouse operations and maintenance, and court security. View report
July 20 was the last business meeting for several council members whose terms were ending, including Judge Patricia Lucas. At the council's Sept. 19 meeting, new volunteer members will begin their terms.
Visit the meeting page for the agenda, links to reports, and an archive of the meeting webcast.
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.