AOC struggles to pay for new courthouses

The state court system laid off 47 people last fall, and judicial officials say they’re looking at even more drastic measures in the upcoming budget cycle.

Since 2000, $880 million has been appropriated for new courthouses that are part of a program designed by former Chief Justice Joseph E. Lambert that was aimed at putting a new courthouse in all 120 counties.

Even though most other state agencies face cuts, Gov. Steve Beshear has recommended an extra $50 million from the General Fund for the courts, both to make up for past budget cuts and to pay for new courthouses that will be opening in the next two years.

The state must start paying for the courthouses, or the counties will default on the bonds. So the court system’s budget will have to be cut in other areas.

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