Saturday, May 05, 2012

[Victims of Court Corruption] Ky Judicial Branch to shut down for three days


Ky Judicial Branch to shut down for three days

Posted: May 02, 2012 3:12 PM PDT Updated: May 02, 2012 4:43 PM PDT

FRANKFORT, KY.  (WDRB-TV) -- Kentucky's budget is so grim that state officials are being forced to do something they've never done before.  The state is shutting down the justice system for three days this year. 

More than 3,000 court employees are being forced to take furlough days in a move aimed at saving nearly $1.5 million.  "Without a doubt, it's the worst financial situation that we have faced as a judicial branch since the judicial article in 1976," says Kentucky Chief Justice John Minton. 

Justice Minton also says the court system's budget crisis is so bad that drastic cuts are necessary.

"We have cut and cut and cut.  We've cut fat before, and we're now cutting bone."

And now the only place left to cut, according to Minton, is inside courthouses across the state.  "We've announced that there will be three days that the court would be required to close."

Wednesday afternoon, Chief Justice Minton announced the states 3,300 non-elected judicial employees will have to take three unpaid furlough days.

"That's a painful reduction, but it's something that we are just going to be forced to do."  Closing the courthouses will save the state $1.4 million.  The dates include August 6th, September 4th and October 15th.

"We tried to hold it to as few days as possible.  We tried to keep those out of consecutive pay periods to try to spread the pain."

And the furloughs are not the only cuts being made. Justice Minton says, "We're going to have to put a ceiling on the number of persons we can allow into drug court programs across the state."

The cuts also include cutting the hours and benefits of part-time employees, but Minton says these changes will prevent more permanent ones.  "We were trying to minimize, you know, permanent layoffs for employees; we were trying to save jobs."

Meanwhile, by law, the salaries of elected judges and clerks cannot be cut, but Minton and others have committed to voluntarily giving up three days pay.

"The constitutions calls me the executive head of the court of justice, and in my estimation the executive head of the court of justice ought to do that."

Copyright 2012 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.


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