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Wed August 17, 2011
Report calls for eliminating 49 judges in Michigan
Update 4:29 p.m.
You can see a list of the recommended cuts on page two of the report from the State Court Administrative Office.
MPRN's Laura Weber reports that the State Court Administrative Office report also says there are some counties that need more judges, but state court administrator Chad Schmucker says they're not recommending adding judges at this time:
“We are not making a recommendation to add those judges, but there’s a simple reason for that. The most important one is the judges in those courts said we don’t want the recommendation at this time.”
The report recommends that the judgeships be eliminated as judges retire or leave their posts. It's up to the Michigan Legislature to enact the changes.
From the Detroit News:
Chief Justice Robert Young Jr. and State Court Administrator Chad Schmucker released the report at a news conference.
"Increasing the size of government is easy; it turns out it takes political courage to reduce it," Young said.
The Michigan Supreme Court has unanimously endorsed the recommendations, as has Gov. Rick Snyder, Young said.
The report said Michigan has too many trial judges in the wrong places and there are areas in the state that have a combined need for 31 more judges. But no new judges are recommended at this time because of the economic climate, the report said.
"We need the Legislature to act," Young said. He said previous recommendations to decrease the number of judges in Michigan had not been acted on by lawmakers "to the detriment of taxpayers."
The News reports that the elimination of each trial court judgeship saves $157,500. The elimination of each appeals court judgeship saves around $171,500, according to a spokeswoman for Governor Snyder.
Doing the math, the recommended cuts would save the state close to $8 million.
Michigan Supreme Court