As the saying goes. There’s good news, and then there’s bad news. However, in the case of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposal for court budgets in the new fiscal year, state courts might have nothing but bad news. How come? Well, the governor proposes a funding increase for state courts that amount to $135.3 million dollars. And $100 million of that will be a restoration of cuts to court budgets from previous years.
So if trial courts get $100 million restored in the governor’s budget, how could that possibly be bad news? Well, trial courts will only see that $100 million if, and it’s a really big if, if California receives the federal funds that it’s seeking. In other words, the governor and California are hoping for the feds to help bail us out.
And what are the chances of that happening? Let’s ask the Magic 8 Ball.
Magic 8 Ball, will the feds write California a big fat check to help it avoid another disastrous budget year filled with possible cutbacks, slashed salaries, furloughs, and layoffs?
So if the feds don’t write us a check, the trial courts DO NOT get a $100 million increase, and they will instead face another $100 million reduction in trial court funding. And then everyone is back to square one with all sides ready to square off over where the money should come from to prevent all of the negative events I asked Magic 8 Ball about above.
You can read the budget yourself by clicking here.
Smile For The Camera
In another court-related budget proposal, Governor Schwarzenegger proposed that red light runners caught on camera running red lights at intersections should also be fined for speeding. So violators caught on camera would get hit with double fines. One for running the red light and then another for speeding. I’ve seen estimates for the speeding fine alone range from $225 to $325. If implemented, the state could see something in the vicinity of $300 million a year that would go to help pay for the courts and for court security.