The cost of civic duty went up Tuesday when the San Diego County Board of Supervisors cut juror fees in half, from $10 to $5 per day.
By a unanimous vote, the supervisors approved the proposed reduction in juror fees, an action that county administrators said will save the county about $656,000 annually.
The supervisors’ action followed the state Legislature’s recent elimination of the state’s partial reimbursement to counties for juror fees, which are expected to cost the county an estimated $1.9 million over the next year.
Since 1985, the state has required counties to pay jurors between $10 and $25 per day, with the state reimbursing counties for $5 of that fee. Jurors also receive a mileage fee based on the distance between their homes and the courthouse.
However, the $40.5-billion state budget signed by Gov. George Deukmejian on Tuesday repealed the earlier law and also eliminated the state’s daily $5-per-juror reimbursement.
Rather than pay the full $10, the supervisors accepted Chief Administrative Officer Norman Hickey’s recommendation that jurors’ daily fees be reduced to $5 as a cost-cutting move. Tuesday’s decision will take effect in September, Hickey said.