The budget bill signed into law by the governor Tuesday gives the Iowa Court System more money to cover its budget deficit. Court communications officer, Steve Davis, says the money will allow them to restore some planned cutbacks.
Davis says the bill gave them $760,000 for the current fiscal year which runs through June, so the two days where the courts were scheduled to be closed have been canceled. Davis says it will also allow the courts to revert to regular public hours.
Davis says the clerk of court offices had been closing early two days a week so the clerks could catch up on paperwork. Beginning June 1st, the hours will return to normal. Davis says the bill also gives the court system money to meet some of the projected shortage in the next fiscal year.
Davis says they were looking at a shortfall of $15.1, but the addition of $11 million cuts that shortfall to $4.2 million dollars. Court costs have already been raised for several services, such as filing for a divorce to address the shortage. Davis says court officials are still looking at ways to make up the rest of the shortfall for the next fiscal year.
The court had originally scheduled to shut down the court system eight days in this fiscal year — but ended up doing so only five times. The five days the courts were closed are each expected to save the courts $335,000.