AB 1208 Passes First Hurdle in the Assembly
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In a stunning defeat for California Supreme Court Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the California Judicial Council, and the AOC, the State Assembly voted 41 to 23 to pass AB 1208, a bill that would restore local trial court control over individual court budgets.
The chief justice and her supporters had been lobbying and rallying against the bill claiming that passage of the bill would be a detriment to smaller court systems and that the legislature was interfering in the management decisions of another branch of government.
Supporters of the bill, which include the Alliance of California Judges, unions, and state court employees, claimed that AB 1208 was necessary in order to assert more local control over the financial decisions of the Judicial Council. Bill supporters also decried financial decisions of the JC that have led, for example, to funding millions of dollars for the much derided CCMS court software program while trial courts have laid off hundreds of workers.
Although the AB 1208 supporters may be cheering the vote by the Assembly, they know full well that the battle is not over. The bill will now make its way to the Senate for a process that will be most certainly heated and vocal from both sides. In a prepared statement, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye signaled she was ready for the next phase of the battle. “People who know the facts know that this is no victory for Californians, for our state courts or for equal access to justice.”
Your COCRA team has been monitoring AB 1208 with the help of its Legislative Advisor Shane Gusman. We will keep COCRA members apprised of any new developments as the bill enters the Senate.
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