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Chief Justice John Minton Rules Out Furloughs, But Warns of More Budget Cuts to Courts

After a year of budget cuts to Kentucky's court system, Chief Justice John Minton said furloughs won't happen in the next year, but he is asking lawmakers to find more money for the state’s judicial branch.

Kentucky's judicial branch will face more cuts in the upcoming fiscal year, though, Minton said in his annual address to the interim judicial committee.

“You will continue to hear me raise the issue of the need for adequate court funding as we head into the fiscal year 2014, which presents as we face that, an additional shortfall of $28.7 million,” Minton told lawmakers.

Minton said he was upset that courts had to close for three days in the last fiscal year for furloughs.

Minton also encouraged lawmakers to issue bonding authority to the courts to update the courts' 25-year-old case management system.

Failing to allow for a bond, Minton says, could bring the court systems to a grinding halt very soon.

“We must replace our old system as quickly as possible, before there is a catastrophic failure,” he says.

Minton says the system doesn’t allow for communication or transfer of cases in the system between counties or between different types of courts.