More bad news looms for Iowa courts

Chris Rizo Feb. 13, 2009, 12:00pm

Marsha Ternus

DES MOINES, Iowa (Legal Newsline)-Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Marsha Ternus is expected to deliver more bad news next week to court employees who will be furloughed Monday.

Ternus and State Court Administrator David Boyd said they will provide and update on the state's court budget and how Gov. Chet Culver's proposed budget cuts would affect the judicial branch.

Possible cost-cutting measures could include layoffs, additional furloughs, merging court offices and cutting or eliminating the state's senior judge program, a statement said Thursday.

The only court employees to work on Monday's one-day furlough will be state judges and magistrates because their salaries are set by state lawmakers.

"In order to address the expected current budget shortfall and in recognition of the fact that upcoming budgets may require further austerity, the court finds it must with great reluctance reduce the level of service it provides to the public," Ternus wrote in her order earlier this month.

"These necessary hardships unfortunately will be borne by the public at large and also by the employees of the judicial branch," she added.

Speaking Tuesday to state lawmakers, the chief justice noted that if the state Legislature follows Gov. Chet Culver's proposed budget cuts.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at

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