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Sunday, April 5, 2020

FLORIDA SUPREME COURT: Chief Justice highlights 'very good start' to budget, thanks lawmakers

By Press release submission | Feb 4, 2020

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Florida Supreme Court issued the following announcement on Feb. 3.

Florida Chief Justice Charles T. Canady Friday updated members of The Florida Bar Board of Governors about issues before the judicial branch and expressed gratitude for the “very good start” for state courts in the budget process under way in the legislature.

Chief Justice Charles T. Canady addresses members of The Florida Bar Board of Governors in Tallahassee on Friday, January 31, 2020

Chief Justice Charles T. Canady addresses members of The Florida Bar Board of Governors in Tallahassee on Friday, January 31, 2020

Chief Justice Canady first expressed his gratitude to the Board of Governors and The Florida Bar leadership he addressed.

“I want to start out by thanking the Bar and all of you for your support,” Canady said, indicating the collaborative efforts were key to early positive results with the legislature.

He said a number of priorities identified in the Supreme Court’s budget request and its legislative agenda are included in initial budgets proposed separately in the Senate and the House of Representatives this week.

“We’re very grateful for the leadership” in both House and Senate, Canady said. “I think it’s accurate to say we have a very good working relationship with the leadership on those committees and the members as well.”

The chief justice said he appreciated the work of key lawmakers, particularly Senator Rob Bradley, chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Representative Travis Cummings, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, along with Senator Jeff Brandes, chair of the Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, and Representative Clay Yarborough, chair of the House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee.

Canady said the support in the legislature by The Florida Bar for the Court’s agenda is an important part of the branch's full effort.

“We have gotten off to a very good start,” Canady told members of the Board of Governors gathered in Tallahassee.

Bar President John Stewart highlighted some of the items included in the House and Senate budget proposals introduced earlier in the week when he introduced Chief Justice Canady.

“In fact, our Number One strategic plan objective is to ensure the judicial system as a coequal branch of government is fair, impartial, adequately funded and open to all,” Stewart said. “Working with the executive and legislative branches to achieve this objective is very important, particularly in advocating for funding to recruit and retain quality judges.”

Among the budget items Stewart highlighted:

Both House and Senate include funding to begin substantial work on a new courthouse for the Second District Court of Appeal to address long-standing facility challenges of that court

Budget proposals in both chambers include funding for additional judges as identified by the Supreme Court in its judicial certification opinion

Funding for staff and equipment for court interpreting services is included in the House and Senate proposals

Senate proposals include funding for a series of initiatives to support timely resolution of cases

House and Senate proposed budgets each include funding for travel for some appellate judges who live far away from the district courts of appeal headquarters where they serve

“The issue near and dear to appellate judges is the issue of remote headquarters,” Canady said. “I think over the long term it will help us enhance recruitment (of judges). I think it will be something that will make a difference going forward.”

The regular session of the Legislature is scheduled to conclude March 13. The full House and Senate still must approve versions of the budget, negotiate any differences into an identical spending plan, and then forward it to Governor Ron DeSantis for approval.

“It’s the beginning of the process and there’s a way to go,” Canady said.

Original source can be found here.

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