Jones to introduce bill to reduce state judgeships

Reflects recommendations of State Court Administrative Office report

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. – State Sen. Rick Jones said Friday he intends to introduce legislation that would codify the recommendations proposed by the State Court Administrative Office (SCAO) in its 2015 Judiciary Resources Recommendations Report.

The report called for a reduction of nine trial court judgeships and the addition of three, for a net cut of six trial court seats in Michigan. In years past the legislature has worked with the executive and the judicial branches to eliminate and add judgeships where they are needed. Jones plans to go through the same process during the next few months.

“As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee I have requested legislation to make the changes,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “It is important to cut judges that are not needed. It costs local and state taxpayers a combined $450,000 per judge.”

According to the SCAO, 25 out of the previously approved judgeship eliminations from 2011 and 2013 have taken place, saving taxpayers more than $6.1 million. With Jones’ proposed legislation, combined with reductions from 2011 and 2013, taxpayers would save nearly $200 million, or $7.4 million annually, once fully implemented.

The biennial report analyzes changes in judicial workloads and recommends the most effective number of trial court and Court of Appeals judges statewide.

The full report may be read in its entirety on the SCAO website.