The state court system is cutting its budget by five million dollars. Rebecca Colton, the Executive Assistant to the Chief Justice of the Iowa says the five million is the amount expected to be cut by the legislature. Colton says it’s a “significant cut” that involves non-personnel expenses such as travel. They also instituted a hiring freeze, and will let go nearly 200 people.They’ll lay off approximately 185 people, and will also cut several special programs. Colton says some of the cuts will be quite noticeable to Iowans.Most noticeably, people who live in small rural areas of the state will notice reduced hours at clerk’s offices. She says they’re also cutting satellite magistrates offices.The cuts will force people in seven counties to go to the courthouse rather than satellite offices. The magistrate cuts involve services in Bell Plaine, Cedar Falls, Evansdale, Grinnell, Hudson, Iowa Falls, Laporte City, Missouri Valley, Oelwein, Perry and Shenandoah. Colton says not all the plans to streamline the court system are set yet, and they’ll continue evaluating those plans as they move ahead.Colton says court judges are confident they can continue meeting their constitutional requirements despite the cuts.
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