WESTFIELD (WWLP) – The Judiciary has seen significant budget cuts over the years. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court warned state lawmakers that any further cuts could lead to hundreds of layoffs.
Massachusetts trial courts could soon be in jeopardy. Deep budget cuts may lead to more than five hundred layoffs, service cuts and court closures.
“I think the governor needs to have a better understanding of how important the work that they do is,” said State Representative Michael Finn (D-West Springfield).
Rep. Finn was a former court officer before he took office. He added that a loss in state funding would impact not only just trial court employees, but residents as well.
“You’re talking about businesses being able to settle disputes among each other, car accidents and small claims actions.”
Potential layoffs could have a serious impact to public safety in Massachusetts. Court officers, probation officers, clerical staff and administrative employees may soon lose their jobs. If you thought the judicial process was lengthy now, potential spending cuts could lead to longer trial court cases.
State Representative John Velis is a newcomer to the House’s Judiciary Committee. He said “the wheels of justice already move so slowly, and again, that could increase how slow the process is.”
Governor Charlie Baker had some tough decisions to make as the state faces a projected $1.8 billion budget shortfall in the fiscal year that begins July 1. His spending plan includes no new fees or taxes.
The Massachusetts House is expected to release their budget proposal in coming weeks. A courthouse cannot close its doors without the state legislature’s approval.