Unified Judicial System Financial Stability
Wednesday, the state's Supreme Court Chief Justice his delivered tenth State of the Judiciary Address. Chief Justice Gilbertson talked about media entering courtrooms, elderly abuse, drug courts, and financial stability. He says for the past several years finances have affected how the state operates. However, he says fiscal matters didn't dominate his office, and he says South Dakota's courts are financially stronger than in other states.
"A newspaper from a neighboring state reported the story of a 16-year-old rape victim, who gave up persuing her case after spending two years waiting for her case to come to court. A municipal court system in a large city recently announced it can no long accept any new civil cases of any kind, because it simply ran out of money to buy paper. South Dakota, however, continues to weather the financial storm while still providing its citizens with necessary access to its courts," says Chief Justice Gilbertson.
This last fiscal year, state departments cut ten percent out of their budgets. Some of those cuts amounted to layoffs. Chief Justice Gilbertson says the Unified Judicial System was able to sustain cuts without layoffs or closing courthouses.
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