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State Courts Feel Davis Cuts

California´s top court administrator says the judicial system is facing an estimated $250 million deficit, about eight percent of its expenditures over the next year-and-a-half.

Today´s announcement by Bill Vickrey comes hours after Governor Davis proposed a total of $20 billion in budget cuts and increased taxes to fill a $35 billion budget gap.

The cuts in court expenditures are to be spread among the state´s 58 counties. They could prompt layoffs, voluntary unpaid furloughs and reduced courtroom and clerk hours. Traffic fines could also be increased and civil court disputes delayed. California´s courts are already feeling the pinch. Los Angeles County recently laid off hundreds of court workers and closed courtrooms.