By Richard Chang
California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye today said Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget shortchanges the judicial branch.
During a visit to The Sacramento Bee's Editorial Board, the top judge noted that $266.5 million is required to maintain current court service levels. Brown's budget proposal, however, provides only an additional $100 million in General Fund support for the court system.
Without more money, Cantil-Sakauye said, courts across the state will be forced to make drastic cutbacks, including layoffs, court closures and furloughs.
"All these programs are all good and well...but they're unenforceable unless there's a justice system," Cantil-Sakauye said.
She pointed out that cuts during the recession have hampered the courts' ability to efficiently handle cases. "Prior to the state's fiscal free fall, we were functioning well in my view," she said.
PHOTO: California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye answers questions from The Bee's Editorial Board at the offices of The Sacramento Bee in Sacramento on Wednesday, January 22, 2014. The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton