SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The Latest on funding difficulties in the New Mexico judiciary (all times local):
The chief justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court says funding cuts to the judiciary are threatening the constitutional rights to a speedy trial and along with basic court services.
Chief Justice Charles Daniels addressed a joint session of the Legislature on Thursday. He described a judiciary that is “on life support” and said emergency funding is needed in the coming months for state courts to avoid furloughs and meet obligations to compensate jurors and witnesses.
More county clerks are cutting back on hours they devote to helping the public. Funding to the judiciary was cut in the current fiscal year as lawmakers struggled to fill a budget hole.
The spotlight will be on funding difficulties in the judiciary as the chief justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court gives a speech to lawmakers.
Chief Justice Charles Daniels is scheduled on Thursday to delivers his State of the Judiciary address to a joint session of the Legislature.
Funding to the judiciary was cut by 3 percent in October, as lawmakers struggled to fill a budget hole. The Administrative Office of the Courts says it will run out of money in early March to compensate jurors and witnesses.
Courts have reduced travel reimbursement rates, as clerks cut back on hours they devote to helping the public.
Gov. Susana Martinez wants this year’s judiciary funding cuts to remain in place, while the Legislature is seeking a 1 percent increase.
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