Tuesday, February 07, 2012

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Court News: Chief Justice asks for more money for our courts, to include a $63 million computer system What price justice at a time when we are just coming out of the Great Recession and many, many are unemployed, underemployed, or worse. Well, the courts need a computer and some more money says Kentucky's Chief Justice Minton. Here is the Courier-Journal story (my heading, however): Chief Justice asks for more money for our courts, to include a $63 million computer system "After several years of budget cuts, Kentucky’s court system is in urgent need of money for upgrades in several areas, including technology, Chief Justice John Minton told a legislative panel Tuesday. Calling Kentucky’s 25-year-old state court computer system “archaic,” Minton said experts have examined it and deemed it “on life support.” . . . Minton said the Administrative Office of the Courts proposes replacing the existing system to manage court records with a $63 million system over the next six years. In addition to allowing courts to share records from county to county and better analyze data, the system would permit electronic filing and reduce paperwork and paper costs, he said. The courts are asking for authorization to issue bonds to finance the project and $2.2 million a year for debt service, Minton said. Minton said the courts also are seeking about $2.1 million to add 25 pretrial services officers needed to manage cases of offenders to be diverted from the jails or prisons. The number of such offenders is increasing because House Bill 463, passed last year, steers more low-level offenders into treatment and community supervision, he said. And the courts would like additional funds to raise entry-level salaries for some employees above “the federal poverty level,” Minton said. Some workers, such as secretaries and deputy court clerks, start at $20,000 to $21,000 a year. “My goal is to pay our work force on a scale...

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