Presiding Judge Jeffrey Barton told judicial officials that county cuts are coming while wrapping up a series of face-to-face meetings last week.
The cuts will include four commissioner courtrooms that help carry the judicial workload. In addition, court reporters in the family court system, student workers and those that have retired but been rehired by the courts will also be cut loose.
According to Karen Dalton, Public Affairs Officer for the San Diego Superior Court, there is no available grant money to pay their salaries.
The budget for this year is $171.7 million. In comparison, the budget in 2008 was $200.5 million. Lower revenues and cost increases in operations are responsible for the decreased operating budget.
“Eighty-four percent of our budget is people,” Dalton explained in an email. “The court has no choice but to reduce services and employees in order to meet its latest budget…”
Incentives have been offered to full-time employees, including the commissioners, to leave their jobs. The hope, according to Dalton, is the court can meet their budget goals through this employee attrition.