Senator Roth Introduces Bill to Fix California’s Judge Shortage

February 13, 2015

Senator Richard D. Roth (D-Riverside) introduced Senate Bill 229 today to help fix California’s judge shortage by funding 12 court judgeships across the State.

The Legislature previously authorized 50 additional judges to meet the shortage without directing any specific funds towards them.  Previous efforts by the Legislature to direct funding towards these positions have been unsuccessful. 

SB 229 would take a measured approach by directing the funding of 10 trial court judges of the 50 total authorized by the Legislature.  SB 229 ensures the 10 positions are funded based on the Judicial Council of California’s need-based standards.  In addition to the 10 trial court judges, SB 229 would also fund 2 appellate court justices.  The Legislature would continue to work to fund the remaining 40 unfunded, previously authorized judgeships.

“The delivery of justice in a timely and equitable manner is a critical issue, not only for Inland Southern California, but for the entire state.  As California weathered the global economic crisis, it was forced to make drastic cuts to the court system, resulting in costly delays and courtroom closures.  Funding these judgeships will begin to reverse the substantial loss incurred by our justice system.

“This is an access to justice issue,” Senator Roth continued.  “By funding additional judges to meet a critical and growing need, SB 229 is the first step in ensuring justice is delivered in a timely and equitable manner.  I am looking forward to a thorough discussion on this issue and to working with my colleagues in the Legislature as SB 229 moves forward.”

SB 229 now awaits referral to a policy committee for further review.