Judicial Council considers changes to trial court funding

SACRAMENTO — The state Judicial Council will meet Feb. 20 to consider recommendations to make revisions to the Workload-Based Allocation and Funding Methodology.
The Trial Court Budget Advisory Committee proposed establishing “an absolute funding floor to address unrealistically low funding for rural courts with fewer than 50 employees,” a press release says.
A live audiocast of the meeting, which will be held in Sacramento, will be on the California Courts website, and the agenda and reports also have been posted online. 
Other things they will discuss:
“Superior Court of Kings County Applies for State-Level Reserve Funding: The council will consider recommendations and options on the Superior Court of Kings County’s application for supplemental funding related to the implementation of its new case management system. $35.2 million remains of the 2 percent state level reserve set-aside in the Trial Court Trust Fund for FY 2013–2014. By statute, the Judicial Council after October 31 and before March 15 of each year may distribute the remaining funds if there has been a request from a trial court(s) for unforeseen emergencies or unanticipated expenses for existing programs. The council then allocates to all courts after March 15 a proportionate share of any unexpended funds from the 2% state-level reserve.
Funding for Criminal Justice Realignment, Court-Appointed Dependency Counsel, and Workers’ Compensation Liabilities: The council will consider a recommendation from its Trial Court Budget Advisory Committee to allocate $7.64 million in funding from the Trial Court Trust Fund and the State Trial Court Improvement and Modernization Fund for costs associated with criminal justice realignment, court-appointed dependency counsel, and the settlement of workers’ compensation tail claim liabilities.
California State Auditor Report on AOC Procurement Practices: The council will receive and discuss a reportreleased by the California State Auditor in December that is required to be performed to assess the implementation of the Judicial Branch Contract Law by the Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal, Administrative Office of the Courts, and Habeas Corpus Resource Center. The Auditor reported that although these entities are generally complying with the law’s requirements and with the provisions of the Judicial Branch Contracting Manual, they need to improve certain practices.”

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