Kansas courts took hit during pandemic, legislation approves new funding

Updated: May. 8, 2021 at 12:32 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas courts were approved to get an infusion of cash to help get it through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Justice Marla Luckert says the Kansas Legislature has officially adopted Senate Bill 159, which would provide the judicial branch with the following budget enhancements:

  • Supplemental funding of $7.4 million to replace docket fee fund revenue lost during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding for judicial branch operations depends on the previously budgeted revenue.
  • Funding of $10.8 million to bring all employee pay to up to market rate over the next two years, with no employee getting over a 12% raise in the first year.
  • Funding of $3.8 million to increase judicial salaries by 5% for each of the next two fiscal years.
  • Funding of $4.3 million to hire 70 more court services officers throughout the state.

“Today the Kansas Legislature averted a funding crisis for the judicial branch, and our nearly 1,900 court employees and judges gave a collective sigh of relief,” said Luckert. “We thank the Kansas Legislature, legislative leadership, and budget conference committee members for their support in this action.”

The Chief Justice said she commends legislative leadership for starting a new chapter in state government relations. She anticipates the funding will transform the state court system.

“I also want to thank Governor Laura Kelly for including judicial branch funding in the governor’s budget recommendation,” said Luckert. “Her budget and budget amendments included the enhancements approved today.”

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