Mark Taylor
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State budget shortfalls will result in the temporary shuttering of courtrooms, Johnson County Commissioners were told April 5.
The Kansas Supreme Court announced this week that all district and appellate courts will be closed on April 13, April 27, May 11, May 25 and June 8.
Chief Justice Lawton R. Nuss said the legislature last week failed to approve a $1.4 million supplemental appropriation that would have averted the furlough.
“This impasse creates an operational dilemma for the state court system because without the supplemental appropriation, we do not have enough money to make our payroll through the end of the fiscal year,” Nuss said in a statement released April 4. “And as of today, we have no assurance we will have that appropriation to operate through the end of this fiscal year.”
The Supreme Court informed legislators of a more than $1 million shortfall last January.
The supplemental appropriation was defeated as a result of an impasse regarding other matters included in the bill.
“The Supreme Court simply believes it has no real choice but to act now, rather than face the uncertainties of what may happen when the legislature returns,” Nuss said. “If we gamble on getting the supplemental appropriation when the legislature returns but something arises that prevents it, then the impact on our employees is more severe over the time that is left.
“We will rescind the furlough days if the supplemental appropriation is approved.”
The judicial branch has about 1,500 employees. Nuff said a one-day furlough per pay period reduces payroll by about 10 percent.