Expect California's once-a-month court closures to continue, at least through June.
In a report posted online Thursday, Administrative Office of the Courts staff recommends that the statewide shutterings continue through the current fiscal year. What happens in July? Well, that depends on how much money the Legislature and governor are willing to shell out to the courts, the report says.
If the politicians don't pony up more money, local court leaders should be able to decide whether their local courthouses continue to close once a month, AOC staff says. The Judicial Council will consider the report's recommendations at its meeting Jan. 21.
Council members will also no doubt ponder why the closures have saved significantly less money than originally predicted. Ten closure days through June 2010 were supposed to save $93.9 million, according to the AOC. Revised projections have lowered that figure to $63.6 million, largely because some trial courts couldn't reach cost-cutting pacts with labor groups and sheriffs, according to the report. We'll have more on that later.
You can read the report, and a handful of the hundreds of comments the AOC received on court closures, here (.pdf).
— Cheryl Miller
Follow me on Twitter