Kansas Court Furloughs Possible Next Year

By: AP
By: AP

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Davis says cuts in the judiciary budget could mean up to 30 days of
statewide court closures and unpaid furloughs for nonjudicial
employees next year.

Davis said Tuesday the only way to avoid the closures and layoffs would be if the Legislature approves additional funds in January.

He says the Legislature cut $11 million for the judiciary in addition to the 2.75 percent across-the-board cuts for all agencies in the budget that begins July 1. Lawmakers adjourned their session early Saturday without addressing the problem.

“We have been told that this additional cut was made in the Senate under the mistaken assumption that the Judicial Branch could raise its own unlimited funding through a surcharge added to docket fees. In fact, the surcharge approved in earlier legislation is limited in the types of filings on which it may be assessed and is capped at $10 per fee. There is no way that it can cover the additional cut,” Chief Justice Davis said in a letter to employees.

On Monday, Gov. Mark Parkinson said he doesn't want the courts closed and will try to persuade legislators to approve the additional funds in January.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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