As the Alabama Legislature prepares to start a second special session aimed at passing a budget, our system of justice remains in balance. Over the last few years, our Courts have faced deep cuts. Yet, the men and women who run our judicial system have worked extremely hard to keep open the doors to our courthouses. Their efforts are tremendous but go largely unnoticed by the public. For example, when Madison County lacked a sufficient number of judges several years ago, other judges from Jefferson County volunteered their time to help.
Will the Alabama Legislature pass a budget? If it does, will that budget allow our judicial system to function? These are big questions with big uncertainties. Judicial funding is a very important issue impacting all Alabamians. According to the Administrative Director of our courts —
We are at the breaking point right now.
A recent news clip discusses these issues. As the reporter details, Alabama’s court system is preparing for the worst while still hoping the legislature passes a workable budget.
As Alabama’s Legislature renews its budget debate, I would make two quick points —
- The courts are necessary for our communities. Businesses and individuals rely on our courts to resolve disputes. Families rely on our courts for protection. All of us rely on our courts to provide criminal justice.
- The courts generate significant revenue. These revenues are a benefit not just to our court system but to our state’s entire general fund.
I hope our legislators will act wisely and keep our court system open for justice.