Layoffs Planned For Judicial Branch

by Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio

A judicial branch budget reduction plan unveiled in Frankfort means layoffs for more than 100 workers in the Kentucky court system.

Kentucky lawmakers didn’t pass an Executive branch budget in the 2010 session, but they did pass budgets for the Legislative and Judicial branches. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Minton says the judicial budget is almost seven million dollars short of what’s needed to run the courts, and that means the elimination of 113 jobs.

“Essentially as you’ll see with the judicial branch, there’s very little to cut before we start cutting people,” he says.

The notices went out immediately. The budget reduction plan, which takes effect July 1st, also abolishes Family and Juvenile Drug Courts, eliminates seven court reporter positions, trims spending by three percent at the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals and reduces operating costs at the Administrative Office of the Courts by two million dollars. Chief Justice Minton warns more cuts are likely in the 2nd year of the biennium.