The state’s new budget, signed into law on Monday, cuts $200 million from the judiciary. For the fiscal year that begins today, the trial courts have $176.9 million less than last year, and the appeals courts lose $23.1 million.
Overall, the budget gives $4 billion to fund the courts out of a total of $202.1 billion. That’s less than 2% of the pie for a co-equal branch of government. It includes a one-time infusion of $50 million to help tackle a backlog that has accrued from the lockdown as well as a surge of new cases that courts expect as they reopen.
These budget cuts may not matter as much if more federal funding arrives by fall.
Or, there may be more cuts if the state’s tax receipts fall more than expected.