Courts question where to cut budget

Stearns County courthouse
Stearns County courthouse in St. Cloud.
MPR Photo/Elizabeth Stawicki

Court officials say they will meet in mid June to decide how to absorb the latest state budget cuts.

Before adjourning, the Legislature cut the total court budget by nearly $4 million. That includes the district and appellate courts.

Charles Porter heads the state's district judges association and is a long-time Hennepin County judge. He said officials are looking at cutting back juror pay and problem-solving courts like the mental health and drug courts.

"All of the things that are being cut back are being cut back by and large against the collective judgment of those that are involved that they ought to be expanded rather than contracted. But we understand the economics that we're living in and we're doing our part. But it's not like we've got a bunch of nice things that we can cut out," Porter said.

Public defenders will also have to cut $1.5 million dollars from their budget.

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