Judicial council announces trial court funding

The Fresno County Superior Court main courthouseThe Fresno County Superior Court main courthouseLocal trial courts can expect a needed bump from the state in the upcoming fiscal year after the Judicial Council of California approved a series of recommendations on how to allocate more than $60 million in new funding.

The new money from the recently passed state budget comes after California's 58 trial courts have endured more than half a billion in cuts over the last four years.

Despite the increase, an ongoing reduction of $261 million made earlier this year is also being factored in to the final allocation, bringing down any net gain the courts might have enjoyed.

The Fresno County Superior Court started the fiscal year with a budget of around $41.19 million, plus its $1.54-million share of the new funding and a 10 percent restoration of base funding at $232,624.

However, April's reduction brings the court down by $6.01 million for a final allocation of approximately $36.43 million

For the Tulare County Superior Court, its funding went from $14.9 million to $13.16 million. The court was restored by $666,000 although ongoing reductions brought the total down by about $2.18 million.

The Madera County Superior Court saw its allocation go from $7.34 million down to $6.36 million. Its restoration was around 215,000 although a reduction of $1.07 million undercut the gain.

The Kings County Superior Court was restored by around $255,000 but reductions totaled $905,000 bringing the court's preliminary budget of $6.2 million down to to$5.47 million.

The state's trial courts also shared in $4.62 million from California's realignment funding to house state criminals. A total of $35.18 million will be subtracted from the courts' budgets as part of the governor's plan to withhold anything in their reserves over one percent.

A detailed list of the courts' funding allocation can be viewed here.