LANSING, Mich. - Michigan Supreme Court Justice Clifford Taylor recently wrote Gov. Jennifer Granholm to express his concerns about the state's judicial budget.
That part of the budget is slated to be cut by as much as $2.94 million.
"This reduction will have extremely serious consequences for judicial branch operations, especially coming as it does more than halfway through the fiscal year," Taylor wrote. "At this time, furlough days and some layoffs appear inevitable unless we can make significant cuts elsewhere.
"That is why I am writing, with some urgency, to suggest a way to cut expenditures."
Notably, Taylor noted there are seven openings on the state trial bench waiting to be filled by Granholm. Three of the openings are in Flint, Kalamazoo and Pontiac, communities that have already been categorized as having excess judges in the most recent Judicial Resources Report in 2005.
Taylor said that while the 2007 report is still a work-in-progress, it doesn't look like things have changed in those communities.
"I respectfully request that, given this situation, you delay your appointments in Flint, Kalamazoo and Pontiac until the report comes out and then join me in urging that, if the judgeships are not needed, they be eliminated," Taylor wrote.
Taylor said a trial judge costs taxpayers about $157,000 that comes out of the state judicial budget.
"As I noted in my recent address at the annual judicial conference, I believe that the state has more trial judges than it needs," Taylor wrote.