Mon April 1, 2013
Lawmakers Might Reduce Cuts To Court Sytem In Walker Budget
As Republican state lawmakers review Governor Scott Walker's proposed budget, they are considering reducing the amount Walker would cut from Wisconsin's court system.
What has some legislators worried is that the governor's budget may include what they consider to be a “double cut” of what the state spends on its court system. That is partly because the last budget required temporary cuts to the courts in both the last two years and in the next two. Add to that the new cuts proposed in this budget, and Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson told lawmakers it amounts to the largest cuts in the history of the court system.
“We are in the process of determining how these cuts can be implemented, and none of the options is good for the effective, efficient administration of the justice system.”
Abrahamson said there was a good chance the cuts would lead to a delay in processing cases, and would increase the probability of errors.
While nothing is decided yet, at the very least, Abrahamson got some attention from legislators. Republican Assembly Joint Finance Committee Co-Chair John Nygren says it is something the legislature needs to look at: “We need to figure out what's really going on there and I don't think that's the legislature's intent — to make a double cut to the courts.
Governor Walker's budget director told lawmakers that as a percentage, the cuts to the court system were smaller than cuts to the Governor's office. But the size of the court budget in terms of dollars, people and buildings is much larger to begin with.