Judicial branch issues require legislative intervention

Posted on October 8, 2012

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It probably isn’t as evident to our current or future legislators as it is to our readers that what is going on in the management ranks of the AOC amounts to more of the same from the same bozos and bimbos that brought you CCMS, $409.00 clock batteries, $1,900.10 per square foot courthouses and sham lawsuits they intentionally lose to cover for their misdeeds. Complicating matters are some of the legislative aides that sit in the legislature in key judiciary committee positions who themselves cheer the centralization model with all courts reporting to the AOC.  Complicating matters further is the November elections and essentially a new slate of legislators coming in to office soon.

One of the things you may have noticed about budget reductions is that the “leadership” wished to produce the appearance that they only get a measly percentage of the overall judicial branch budget and that their reductions are somewhat proportional.  A few posts ago, we touched on the future as seen by the AOC on the immediate and critical needs account. Looking at the numbers, the AOC predicts that it will be able to sock away over a hundred and sixty million into a savings account.

INCA Revenues                 2009/10  | 2010/11 | 2011/12 | 2012/13 | 2013/14 | 2014/15
Beginning Balance           93,600    | 250,656 |  369,617 | 53,753  |  22,177  | 166,533
Adjusted Balance              101,076  |  258,445 | 369,617  | 53,753  |22,177   | 166,533

Mad money summary: 

Reserve by Lease Payments                                                             12,162  |  47,780

Reserve for Construction                                                                100,000 |  100,000

Reserve for Future Revenue Deficits                                              54,794 |   35,753

As you can plainly see, the AOC plans to stash away nearly 170 million dollars for future projects and future revenue deficits as if the voters themselves or the legislature will fully fund the judicial branch. The problem with documents like this written this way is that this pie in the sky will never materialize but the judicial council and the AOC have penned their plans, damn the trial courts. All legislators see is that the judicial branch must have the money to let the AOC sock away nearly 170 million for rainy days and construction cost overruns for their own projects, yet has not planned on keeping the trial courts open in the face of the real world budget. One that will probably get worse after next months election when prop 30 fails to gain enough traction to pass.

The people on the Judicial Council don’t represent the people and don’t do a very good job at budgeting anything. When they tell you that their courthouses will cost less and then they sock away 100 million, they know something you don’t and it probably comes in the form of anticipated cost overruns on projects where the budget was reduced. Already, many of these projects have had huge cost overruns with the CM At Risk not being at risk or held accountable. The AOC simply throws more money at these projects so  that people don’t catch wind that they’re way over budget. Yet like everything else in the AOC, no one is held accountable and all you ever hear about is the latest gold shovel groundbreaking or ribbon cutting ceremony.

Prepare for more of the same next year. And the year after that. Until someone takes the AOC out of the real estate & construction business. Until someone defines the judicial council and AOC budget as a line item and not a percentage of the take. Until someone has the courage to reign in this reckless agency. All of that requires legislative intervention.