Dire Predictions for Courts in 2010

2010 hasn’t begun yet and already people are predicting some very dire things happening to state courts next year. In an article printed in today’s Daily Journal, judges from up and down the state shared their thoughts on how bad things are going to be. The consensus? If you thought this year was bad, be afraid about next year. Be very afraid.

Judge Michael Paul Vicencia

“We’re going to see another year of cuts,” said Judge Michael Paul Vicencia, president of the California Judges Association. “How bad that will be remains to be seen.”

“We’re into the bone now,” he said. “There’s no more fat left. Hopefully, some of last year’s cuts will be restored but if not, I think the leaders of our court here in Los Angeles and the leaders of all 58 trial courts are going to have to make some very difficult decisions.”

Judge Charles “Tim” McCoy

“Next year is going to be worse. The following years won’t be better. It’s going to take two to three years for the government to pull us out of it.”

Drew Soderborg, Legislative Analyst’s Office fiscal and policy analyst

“We have a $20 billion budget problem, even if our spending doesn’t change at all in the coming year,” he said. “It would be really unlikely that the Legislature would be in a position to restore funding for the courts unless they were able to find savings elsewhere within the courts.”

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3 responses to “Dire Predictions for Courts in 2010

  1. AOC-W can you please post the article? thank you

  2. Obi-Wan Kenobi

    Goooooood Morning Vietnam!

    The Alliance of AOC Employees plan for change

    1. Create and carve out of the AOC budget the office of state trial courts or OSTC that reports to the 58 members of the trial court working group

    2. Create three groups under the OSTC

    3. The office of financial review gets all of the IAD auditors and appoints a new manager

    4. The office of IT and construction review gets an architect, a few engineers and a few IT people for plan checking, contractor vetting and review

    5. The office of contracts review gets contract specialists, legal counsel and accountants

    48 caring people are wisked off the AOC payroll and onto the OSTC payroll. Unlike the AOC, the OSTC will never grow beyond 48 people and will slow the continued growth of the AOC by breeding efficiencies amongst the existing staff.

    These people have the power to end improprieties, forever consultants, sole-source contracts, boondoggles, meaningless studies, studies whose conclusions are pre-determined and doing business with unqualified entities before they ever start.

    Their focus, backed by the 58 members of the trial court working group is to save the state money by holding people in the AOC and the trial courts accountable, provide an ongoing means of reviewing the trial courts and the AOC’s various functional high-cost operating units as to ensure adequate trial court funding, auditing and review services.

    a) No person working for the OSTC may make more than 75% of the lowest paid judge.

    b) OSTC personnel are based out of the San Francisco office of the AOC but have working spaces in the two regional offices SRO and NCRO

    The money saved by OSTC personnel would not only pay their own salaries but would free up funds to flow to the trial courts.

  3. Obi-Wan Kenobi

    One thing I missed. The OSTC acts like an inspector general with respect to whistleblower complaints. They are obligated to investigate every complaint and bring about a resolution within 90 days. They would issue a confidential report to the whistleblower at this time and report their findings to the Judicial Council and the trial court working group without naming names.