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Judicial Council to Consider Delaying 11 More Courthouse Construction Projects

Projects to be delayed if there is no restoration of construction funds in the final Budget Act for fiscal year 2013–2014


By: Judicial Council of California

SAN FRANCISCO February , 2013 - At its public meeting on February 25-26, the Judicial Council will consider a plan to delay 11 more courthouse construction projects if the Governor's proposed state budget for fiscal year 2013–2014 is enacted with no restoration of court construction funds.

By fiscal year 2013–2014, nearly $1.5 billion of court user fees originally designated by the Legislature to be set aside for court construction will have been borrowed, transferred to the state General Fund, or redirected to court operations. The Governor's proposed budget for 2013–2014 would redirect another $200 million in court construction funds to trial court operations. It would also postpone repayment of a $90 million loan from the court construction fund. In the last 14 months, the Judicial Council has cancelled 2 projects, delayed 7 indefinitely, and at its January meeting, it adopted a plan to delay indefinitely 4 more projects pending resolution of the Budget Act for the upcoming fiscal year.

The council will hold a public educational meeting from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday, February 25, and its public business meeting from 8:30 a.m. to 3:35 p.m. on Tuesday, February 26 in the Judicial Council Conference Center, Hiram Johnson State Office Building, Third Floor, Ronald M. George State Office Complex, 455 Golden Gate Avenue in San Francisco.

A live audiocast of both meetings will be on the California Courts website and the agenda and reports are posted online.

Other items on the council's business meeting agenda for February 26 include:

Update of the Resource Assessment Study Model: The council will consider approving the updated parameters of the Resource Assessment Study (RAS) model, which is used to evaluate the workload of non-judicial staff in the trial courts and was first approved by the Judicial Council in 2005. The updated parameters consist of new caseweights and new formulas that produce more accurate workload estimates.

Trial Court Trust Fund Allocations: 2 Percent State-Level Reserve: The council will consider recommendations and options on two courts' applications for supplemental funding related to unforeseen emergencies or unanticipated expenses for existing programs.

Remote Video Proceeding Pilot Project in Fresno: The Superior Court of Fresno County has submitted an application for approval to establish a remote video proceeding (RVT) pilot project for traffic infraction cases under California Rule of Court, rule 4.220. The council's Technology Committee has reviewed the court's application and recommends that the Judicial Council approve it.

Items on the council's educational meeting agenda on February 25 include:

Judicial Branch Budget: The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) will present information on the judicial branch budget, including a history of allocation methodology, a review of various branch funds, and efforts to simplify branch budget development and fiscal processes.

Trial Court Workload Evaluation: The chair and staff to the SB 56 Working Group will provide background on the update to the Resource Assessment Study (RAS) model which is used to estimate the workload of non-judicial staff in the trial courts.

The Judicial Council is the policymaking body of the California courts, the largest court system in the nation. Under the leadership of the Chief Justice and in accordance with the California Constitution, the council is responsible for ensuring the consistent, independent, impartial, and accessible administration of justice. The Administrative Office of the Courts carries out the official actions of the council and promotes leadership and excellence in court administration.


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