Pennsylvania Courts Facing Budget Crisis

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has issued its annual report on the State of the Commonwealth’s Courts. This year's report focuses on the funding shortages that threaten the courts' operations.

In a news release announcing publication of the report, Supreme Court Chief Justice Castille explained the scope of the problem. “The judiciary projects a $47 million deficit in fiscal year (FY) 2011-12 after a current year deficit of $12 million," Castille said. "Without immediate increases in state court funding, our ability to cover those deficits depends on borrowing funds from a dedicated computer projects account that would end 2012 in near bankruptcy."

The report goes on to detail the valuable services the court system provides, as well as the successful cost-cutting measures the system has implemented in the last year. “Naturally, I would prefer that this report focused only on achievements of the judiciary, but that is impossible when we face increasingly overwhelming deficits,” Castille said. “Nevertheless, despite the challenges caused by under-funding, the judiciary has thus far been able to continue programs that serve justice, save money and make a difference in peoples’ lives.”