With state revenues down, the Trial Court is again tackling budget management challenges. The Trial Court Fiscal Year 2017 appropriation is $639.1 million, or $15 million less than the Fiscal Affairs Department projected would be needed for maintenance, or "level" funding.
This past summer, in anticipation of the budget shortfall, the Trial Court offered a retirement incentive to all eligible employees. Two hundred seven (207) employees opted to retire. In addition to the retirement incentive, the Trial Court must reduce expenditures by three percent as part of its plan to manage its appropriation.
Each Trial Court Department has received a budget allocation that reflects the three percent reduction. Each department may fill staff vacancies, based on its budget allocation. Due to the Court’s reduced overall budget, not all positions vacated through the retirement incentive will be backfilled.
According to Court Administrator Harry Spence, though this budget reduction presents challenges, it also underscores the need to increase efficiencies, for example by expanding electronic filing of civil and criminal cases.
“We must operate within the financial limits of the state,” said Court Administrator Spence. “All of state government is affected and a retirement incentive is now underway in the Executive Branch. With state revenues currently below projections, we can expect that FY18 will be another challenging year as well. But I’m confident that we will meet these challenges by working together.”