Louisiana judicial budget stalled amid concerns about cuts
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The chief justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court asked lawmakers to spend more on courts next year.
Chief Justice Bernette Johnson spoke Monday to a joint gathering of the House and Senate, only days after the House stalled a proposal that would cut judicial money in the budget year that begins July 1.
Johnson says the $180 million request is necessary to fund "not only an independent judiciary, but also an effective one."
The court's proposal would increase financing from about $171 million this year. Instead, the House is considering a bill that would allocate about $164 million, as lawmakers grapple with a deep budget shortfall.
That proposed cut fell two votes short of passage Thursday, as lawmakers expressed concern about the implications of shrinking spending on judicial programs.
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