The Day of Reckoning for California Courts, and For the Rest of the State, Except for that Dumb High Speed Railroad

We concluded our recent  dispatch on the status of the California high speed railroad — click here — with the news that California is facing a $16 billion budget shortfall. Now, faced with a newly-revealed $16 billion budgetary shortfall,  our Governor dropped the other shoe and announced that the budget of California courts is being cut by some one-half billion dollars — that’s $500,000,000. That’s on top of the previous $350 million in cuts.

Needless to say, judges are incensed, and the Alliance of California Judges has issued a statement that pulls no punches. Quoth a dispatch from the Alliance of Calkifornia Judges, dated May 14, 2012:

“The day of reckoning has come to the [California] judiciary. Years of mismanagement and misplaced priorities by the Judicial Council and the Administrative Office of the Courts have caused not only a budget crisis, but a crisis in confidence. Over half a billion dollars wasted on a failed computer project, lavish salaries, pension spikes and retroactive pay raises for San Francisco bureaucrats, exorbitant construction and building maintenance programs and an unwillingness to rein in  the excesses of the AOC will cause local courts to cut essential courtroom staff and hours of operations.”