Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb has warned there will be as many as 500 layoffs in the state court system starting October 1st under the proposed general fund budget. The Chief Justice told a joint session of the Legislature she was grateful that Gov. Bentley proposed a budget cut of only about 10% for the Unified Court System. It could have been much more. Nevertheless, the courts will be badly hurt.
The Chief Justice said she will have to immediately lay off 74 bailiffs and law clerks around the state, and that number would increase greatly in the next fiscal year. The court system requested $162.7 million for fiscal 2012, but Gov. Bentley is proposing that the courts receive $158.1 million. Chief Justice Cobb said she would be forced to cut out travel for judges between circuits, and training expenditures have been eliminated. It’s possible that the number of jury trials will be reduced.
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