Iowa’s Judicial Branch is the first division of state government to announce a mandatory furlough as a result of budget cuts for the fiscal year that ends in June.
Court offices will close for one day and employees will take unpaid leave.
Governor Branstad recommended a more than $7 million cut to the judicial branch. Lawmakers scaled that back to $3 million.
In a memo to court employees, state court administrator David Boyd unveiled how courts would absorb the cut.
Vacancies of more than a hundred court employees and a dozen judges will remain unfilled.
The rest of the savings will come from closing clerk of court offices on May 26th and docking employee
salaries for the day.
Roughly 1500 employees will be affected, but Boyd says judges and magistrates will go to work and get paid.
He explains that court employees received raises the last two fiscal years, while judges have received only one salary increase since 2008.
Boyd says court employees had been advised of a possible mid-year budget correction.
“Unfortunately, that statement has come true,” Boyd wrote.
The $3 million cut is permanent. As a result, Boyd warns of a possible further reduction in services next year.
Boyd says officials will continue to look for any possible savings for this year.
“If at some point between now and May 26th we find sufficient additional savings we will cancel the need for this one day of court closures and unpaid leave.”