Jessica M. Karmasek Jan. 15, 2013, 4:22pm

SALEM, Ore. (Legal Newsline) -- Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Balmer says he plans on asking lawmakers for funds to restore the state's court system.

In his first state of the courts address Friday, Balmer said he wants to end mandatory unpaid furloughs, seek funds for an improved electronic records system and restore various circuit court staff positions.

According to The Associated Press, Balmer also wants funds to save 10 county drug courts, pay increases for nearly 200 judges, and money to update and repair courthouses and the state's Supreme Court building.

"Delivering justice is a noble goal," Balmer said, according to the AP. "As a state, we need to give our institutions the tools they need to work toward equal justice for all."

Balmer, who is responsible for the court system's two-year budget, said he will submit his requests as part of the Judicial Department's budget. The proposed budget will then be passed onto lawmakers.

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