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Local News in Brief : Countywide : Supervisors Approve Plan on Court Budget

The Board of Supervisors gave final approval Wednesday to a plan in which the state will assume much of the cost of operating the county courts, thereby relieving the financially strapped county budget.

Under the plan, the county will get about $12.5 million for the fiscal year that ends June 30. In an arrangement worked out with the judges of the Municipal and Superior courts, $9 million will go to the general fund, and the courts will share about $3.5 million.

The money for the courts will pay for five new Superior Court judgeships and more than 60 clerical positions in the Municipal Court.

The county government was within a week of calling for drastic measures--possibly layoffs and program cutbacks--to balance its budget for the current fiscal year. Besides the $9 million it will receive under the state’s Trial Court Funding Act, the county also reached an agreement with the Retirement Board on Monday that will generate about another $8 million for the county budget.

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The budget is still about $6 million short of being balanced, but county officials believe a hiring freeze and other belt-tightening measures ordered recently should make up the difference.

The supervisors vote was 4 to 0, with Supervisor Roger R. Stanton absent.


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