The Iowa Senate Appropriations Committee last week passed SF 2117, which calls for a $4.835 million reduction to the Iowa Judicial Branch budget in FY18. It is part of an overall deappropriation of $50 million, with the judicial branch being asked to absorb more than nine percent of the reduction for the state government.
According to State Court Administrator Todd Nuccio, “should the $4.8 million cut come to reality, we are left with no other choice than to close courthouses and eliminate personnel branch-wide. As such, we are projecting the closure of over 30 county courthouses proportionately distributed across our eight judicial districts. The courthouses selected for closure within each judicial district will be determined by caseload volume in each county. The workload of the closed courthouses will then be shifted to other county courthouses in that judicial district.”
The Senate is expected to vote on this deappropriation bill as early as today, so ISBA members are urged to contact their senators as soon as possible. Urge senators to support an amendment which would strike or lower the budget cuts to the judicial branch.Here is the letter from ISBA President Steve Eckley that was sent to state senators, urging them to carefully consider the impact this would have on the judicial branch.
Members can locate their legislators’ information here. Your voice will remind them that it is imperative that Iowa's courts are funded adequately.