It’ll be business as usual this week in the Iowa Court system. The courts were supposed to be closed for a "furlough day" on Friday due to the ailing state budget, but last-minute legislation passed by lawmakers will allow the courts to remain open that day.
Steve Davis, a spokesman for the Iowa courts, says they may be able to cancel two more planned furlough days. Davis says, "Being able to open them back up would provide more accessibility to the courts for the citizens of Iowa."
Nearly $4-million was cut from the judicial branch and officials ordered court closures. Four days were planned before the end of the fiscal year, but the one scheduled for Friday was canceled after Governor Culver signed a bill freeing up funds by letting the courts order unpaid leave for judges.
Davis says if the governor signs another budget bill, even more days can be restored to the court calendar. Davis says, "If we get the supplemental appropriation, that’ll give us the opportunity to eliminate two more of the court closure days. We’re waiting to find out what the governor’s gonna’ do."
The second bill appropriates an additional $760,000 for the courts. If it becomes law, May 22 will be the only remaining day when courthouses will be closed. As it stands now, court furloughs are still scheduled to take place May 22nd, June 5th and June 19th.