Kentucky Court of Justice
Administrative Office of the Courts announces operational cuts, abolishes 47 positions to prepare for Judicial Branch budget deficit
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts instituted several operational cuts and abolished 47 positions at the AOC Millcreek Campus in Frankfort today in an effort to help ensure a balanced Judicial Branch budget.
The affected employees were in the Divisions of Clerk Services, Mediation, Real Property, Records and Statistics, and Training. Elected judges and circuit court clerks and their personnel were not affected.
“We carefully examined which functions the AOC is legally mandated to perform,” AOC Director Laurie K. Dudgeon said. “The areas that fall outside of our core functions are subject to be eliminated.
“The Judicial Branch faces a deficit of approximately $35 million for Fiscal Year 10,” Ms. Dudgeon added. “Until now, we have avoided employee layoffs and service reductions by spending one-time money from reserve accounts. However, this deficit means the Judicial Branch will likely deplete all reserve funds by the end of our fiscal year, which is June 30, 2010. We can no longer postpone taking measures that will help ensure our financial stability. Abolishing these 47 positions will save approximately $2.1 million.
“We appreciate the tremendous contributions these employees have made to the Kentucky Court of Justice. In no way is this decision a reflection of their value to the court system.”
The affected employees were notified today that they are subject to being laid off, with today as their last day of work. Due to a hiring freeze instituted April 1, 2009, some AOC vacancies have been created statewide. Several of these positions are necessary to ensure that the AOC meets its statutory and constitutional requirements. The affected employees who are tenured will be considered to fill these vacancies. Placements will be made based on vacancy availability and employee seniority and qualifications.
In addition to abolishing positions, the AOC expects to achieve $2.4 million in savings by eliminating or reducing non-essential operating expenses. These actions include:
- Further reduce the office supply list, effective Oct. 1.
- Reduce furniture and equipment replacements, effective Oct. 1.
- Eliminate business cards for all elected officials and non-elected personnel, effective Oct. 1.
- Eliminate all conferences except for those for judges and circuit court clerks and reduce the costs associated with these conferences, effective FY 11.
- Eliminate all AOC-issued Blackberries, effective Nov. 1.
- Eliminate AOC-issued cell phones and pagers except for employees with response time requirements who are making less than $50,000 a year, effective Nov. 1.
- Eliminate reimbursements for all cell phones and smart phones except for employees with response time requirements and those making less than $50,000 a year, effective Nov. 1.
- Place a moratorium on expanding current programs and implementing new programs.
These reductions total $4.5 million. Additional measures may be required in the spring of 2010, depending on the FY 11 Judicial Branch budget appropriation.
The AOC supports the activities of approximately 3,800 Kentucky Court of Justice employees, including the elected justices, judges and circuit court clerks, and executes the Judicial Branch budget.