Colorado

State/Local Funding

  • The Colorado Judiciary is a state funded system. 
  • The state pays for the Appellate Courts and the Administrative Office of the Courts and for the salaries of trial court judges, support staff and clerical staff.  The state pays for technology equipment and operating expenses for the courts.   Local courthouses and equipment are paid by local funding bodies.

State Revenue and Appropriations

  • Colorado’s total state and federal grant appropriation was increased from $385.6 million in FY12 to $397.6 million in FY13, approximately 3%.  The state general fund appropriation was reduced from $260.9 million to $247.4 million; state special funds increased by $24 million.
  • Fees and fines have remained the same since 2009.
  • Over the past four years, funding for technology has increased 5%.
  • The budget situation in the next three years is likely to improve.

Funding Principles for Judicial Administration

  • The Judicial Branch presents the Judiciary’s budget request directly to the Legislative body without prior approval by the Executive Branch
  • The Judicial Branch does not have authority to manage and administer appropriated funds without restrictions of detailed budget line items.
  • The FY13 budget enables the courts to provide and enhance necessary technology to meet the demands of the public. 
  • The introduction of technologies has enabled the courts and others to provide and receive enhanced court services.

Steps Taken to Address Tough Economic Times

Staffing Levels and Operating Expenses: 

  • Over the past four years, the number of judges and trial court staff has increased by 10%.  The number of central office staff has been reduced by 5%.  Spending on trial court operating expenses has increased by 10%.
  • In the coming year, the number of judges will increase 2%, the number of trial court clerical staff will increase 1%.  Central office staff and the amount spent on trial court operating expenses will remain the same.

Compensation:  Over the past four years, salaries of judges and court staff have been frozen; judges’ salaries will continue to be frozen in the coming year.

Service Reductions:  Over the past four years, the Colorado courts have reduced hours of operation, had staff layoffs, and have delayed filling judicial vacancies and vacancies in the clerks’ offices and in judicial support positions.  They have reduced the use of retired judges.  These service reductions have resulted in reduced service to the public.

Efficiency Measures:  The Colorado courts have implemented e-filing and will continue to do so in FY13.  They have created and implemented an electronic document management system.

The Colorado courts are in a better position than in FY09 to provide access and timely justice, primarily due to decreased case load.

Reports and Articles

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