“This year’s budget represents an unprecedented investment in our judicial branch,” said Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye.
The budget cuts $200 million from the state court system, though $150 million could be restored if the federal government sends additional aid by the fall.
The formula forms the basis of the Judicial Needs Assessment, which estimates California needs an additional 173 judges.
Governor Gavin Newsom signed his first state budget on Thursday, which includes nearly $470 million in new judicial branch funding to continue the courts’ steady recovery after years of deep cuts.
The Judicial Council received a report on how the state’s trial courts used additional funding included in this fiscal year’s judicial branch budget to expand hours, reopen closed locations, and invest in new technology to increase access to justice for the public.
Statewide investment in self-help services has helped Alameda Superior Court open a second center.
At its March 15 business meeting, the Judicial Council approved recommendations for updating guidelines for video remote interpreting (VRI) and voted to have its staff coordinate a new VRI program for the judicial branch.
Governor Jerry Brown signed a state budget on Wednesday that will help restore court services slashed during the recession, fund courthouse projects, and improve access to justice for millions of Californians.
Facing growing numbers of civil and family law litigants representing themselves, courts are expanding services offered through “self-help” centers.
Every year, nearly 1.2 million people come to self-help centers in California courthouses seeking guidance with civil cases such as divorces, evictions, and restraining orders. While every county court has its own self-help center, nearly a dozen also use JusticeCorps students to help serve users.
With dozens of Santa Barbara court employees cut off by mudslides, an unusual partnership with a neighboring county helps keep the court running.
More than 150 judges, court managers and IT professionals came together in Sacramento last week to find new ways to harness technologies to offer better service and access to the public.