Georgia Supreme Court Judges to Take Furlough Days
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State budge cuts in Georgia have caused an ongoing crises in the Georgia court system. In May, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue ordered 25% cuts to all state agencies, but then Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court Leah Ward Searsclaimed that Perdue didn’t have the authority to include the judiciary, a seperate and equal branch of the government. A showdown was averted when the two branches reached a compromise allowing some of the pay cuts to be pushed off to the following fiscal year. Sears retired at the end of May and in June, the Governor was back asking for a 5% reduction. New Chief Justice Carol Hunstein, along with the senior justices for the Georgia appellate and district courts, again objected. Last week Hunstein announced that Court employees including the judges would voluntarily take three days of unpaid furlough between now and the end of the year. While maintaining that the executive branch lacks the legal authority to mandate pay cuts for the judiciary, Hunstein said that the judicial branch would voluntarily take these unpaid days off to do its part in controlling the budge deficit. In addition, the court will be taking other steps to curb costs, from closing the law library to returning leased copy machines.


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