Two Central Valley courthouse projects put on hold
January 21, 2013
• Fresno and Sacramento projects delayed
• “We don't know what to plan for, or what lies around the corner”
Plans to build new courthouses in Fresno and Sacramento are on hold.
The Judicial Council of California, which governs the state court system, says nothing further will be done in the two counties, as well as in Los Angles and Nevada counties, to ease overcrowding and other issues with new facilities until the Legislature finishes with the stat’s 2013-2014 budget.
Gov. Jerry Brown in his proposed budget is asking for more funds to be taken from courthouse construction.
Site acquisition will be allowed to proceed for the Sacramento courthouse in the current fiscal year, but further progress will wait until courthouse construction funds become available in the future.
In addition to using court construction money to help make payments on the new Long Beach courthouse, Mr. Brown’s budget proposes using another $200 million of court construction funds in the coming fiscal year to shore up court operations, and postpones repayment of another $90 million borrowed from construction funds two years ago.
“We have watched as more than a billion dollars has been taken from the construction program. We don't know what to plan for, or what lies around the corner,” says Justice Brad Hill, chairman of the Court Facilities Working Group and Administrative Presiding Justice of the 5th District Court of Appeal, which serves the Central Valley.
“I hope that at some point in the coming year we will have some certainty, so that we can move forward to build safe, secure, and economical courthouses. The citizens of our state deserve nothing less,” Mr. Hill says.
Because of budget uncertainties, the council also voted to delay until its meeting in February consideration of related facilities measures—on funding for facility modifications and maintenance costs for new courthouses.