VIA WEB CONFERENCE—The Judicial Council approved the types of legislation it should support to increase access to justice for court users.
This year’s legislative agenda includes:
- Advocating for stable and reliable funding for courts to maintain in-person services and expand online services
- Securing more judgeships for the superior courts with the greatest need
- Implementing pretrial detention reform to increase the safe and efficient release of people arrested before trial
“The priorities are consistent with the council’s strategic plan,” said Judge Marla Anderson, chair of the council’s Legislation Committee. “Those objectives seek to improve the administration of justice, support the integrity and independence of the judicial branch, and ensure that judicial procedures and efficiencies ensure access to the courts.” Watch
Other items on the Jan. 21 council meeting agenda include:
Proposed Judicial Branch Budget: The council’s Administrative Director Martin Hoshino provided an overview of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget for the judicial branch in fiscal year 2022-23, which provides a historic $5.2 billion—the largest ever budget for the judicial branch. Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye acknowledged the Governor “clearly recognizes how important equal access to justice is for all Californians.” (Chief Justice’s full statement on the proposed budget)
Funding for Court Reporters in Family and Juvenile Proceedings: The council approved $30 million in state budget funds to increase the number of court reporters in civil and family law cases. Watch
Increased Rate for Court Reporter Transcripts: The council approved $7 million in state budget funds to help trial courts cover the increased costs for court reporter transcripts of court proceedings. Watch
Court Interpreter Reimbursements: The council also approved state budget funds for court interpreting. The funding will help ensure meaningful access for non-English speaking litigants in courtroom proceedings and for other courthouse services. Watch
Education for Judges and Court Staff: The council approved its next two-year education plan for developing and delivering education to the judicial branch. The plan includes live programs and courses, offered both in person and remotely, as well as on-demand videos, online courses, podcasts, and publications. While all judicial branch education since March 2020 has been delivered remotely due to the pandemic, this updated education plan reflects the conclusion that certain programs are more effectively delivered in person. Watch
The complete meeting agenda and council reports are posted to the California Courts Meeting Information Center. An archived webcast of the entire meeting broken out by topic will be added to the center as soon as it is available.