Washington Courts: Press Release Detail
Chief Justice to Highlight Court Funding Reform during State of the Judiciary Address on January 17January 15, 2007
Washington Supreme Court Chief Justice Gerry Alexander will unveil the next phase of a proposal to reform funding of Washington’s trial courts, public defense and civil legal services during the 2007 State of the Judiciary Address on January 17.
The address will begin at noon before a joint session of the Washington State Legislature.
The funding reform plan is a result of extensive research and collaboration by the Board for Judicial Administration’s Court Funding Task Force, which included more than 100 members statewide. The Task Force released a final report in late 2004 detailing significant and increasing problems in the state justice system caused by an inadequate and lopsided funding system.
The report documents how Washington is ranked 50th in the nation for state government participation in funding, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Washington’s system of funding has counties and cities paying for nearly 90 percent of trial court costs, prosecution and public defense.
Alexander will outline successes from improvements made since 2005 and highlight new proposals in the long-range plan for stabilizing court funding in Washington.
Alexander is the Supreme Court’s 52nd chief justice, the longest-serving chief justice in state history. He was elected to the Court in 1994 after serving for more than two decades as a superior court judge in Thurston and Mason Counties and on the state Court of Appeals, Division Two.
Alexander’s address will be carried live via TVW, Washington’s Public Affairs Network. Copies of his address will be available online at www.courts.wa.gov immediately following the event.
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