COURTHOUSES TO CLOSE AS A RESULT OF JUDICIAL BRANCH CUTS TO BE ANNOUNCED TODAY; NO MOVEMENT FROM LEGISLATURE ON ITS PROPOSED LAYOFFS

Courthouses in Connecticut will close as a result of cuts in the judicial branch’s budget as part of the governor’s effort to close the overall state budget deficit, The Hanging Shad has learned and other media have picked up. Just how many and where remains to be seen. The governor’s budget calls for a reduction of 450 staff positions in the judicial branch or about 10 percent of its workforce. As a result, some courthouses will be shuttered. The judicial branch will report its plans for implementing cuts to legislative leaders today.

Malloy’s plan for cuts to balance the state budget also includes the layoff of 50 workers in the legislative branch. Yet so far, according to the Office of Legislative Management (OLM), there haven’t been even preliminary discussions on the issue.

Presumably, the heads of the four legislative caucuses, Senate President Don Williams, Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, Speaker of the House Chris Donovan and House Minority Leader Larry Cafero would make the call on the cuts. But an OLM official says here is no precedent on how to proceed. The legislature, which operates independently of the executive branch, is lagging far behind in making the painful cuts backs. A call to Sen. Williams’ office was not returned.

Rumors are swirling that the “security personnel”—the guys in the blue blazers who ostensibly are there to give a sense of security—are on the chopping block. There’s no word on who else might be laid-off.

Meanwhile, the Malloy administration released a summary of the cuts in the executive branch. Corrections, mental health and addictions services are among the departments that will be most affected. Plans call for the closing of several Department of Motor Vehicles branches and two Department of Social Services offices.

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