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Tallahassee Democrat, editorial, http://www.tallahassee.com, March 30, 2008.The editorial states: “Florida’s state court system is already a lean, hardworking justice machine. It operates with roughly half as many trial judges per citizen as other large states — 4.5 judges per 100,000 citizens compared with Texas with 10, for example, or the national average of 7.3 judges. A point of pride, however, is that our court system ranks near the top of the states in terms of clearing cases quickly and opinions issued per justice. Supreme Court Chief Justice Fred Lewis says much of this is due to an efficient system of top-quality paralegals and judicial assistants who keep the judges judging and the paperwork orderly and flowing. . . . A 10-percent slice of the judicial budget could be more painful than with many other agencies because it starts out with just a sliver of the state’s $70 billion budget. The state courts system consumes just 0.7 percent of the total, compared, for example, with education at 31 percent. Cutting 10 percent of a $483 million budget for one entire branch of government is dire, especially when 80 percent of that goes to the 20 circuit courts.”

1 Comment

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