State Revenue and Appropriations
Funding Principles for Judicial Administration
1. For the FY 2012-13 biennium, the Texas Office of Court Administration received only $50,000 per year in its capital budget for information technology. This allows OCA to marginally support the state's 16 appellate courts, plus state judicial agencies, in the event their almost 900 computers and related equipment need to be repaired or replaced. The OCA was also cut to two programmers to maintain OCA-supported software. While the OCA can marginally support the courts at this level through the end of the current biennium, it cannot continue in the future without significant consequences to the Judiciary.
Steps Taken to Address Tough Economic Times
Staffing Levels and Operating Expenses: Over the past four years, the number of judges and central office staff has remained the same. In the coming year, the number of judges and central office staff will continue to remain the same.
Compensation: Over the past four years, salaries of court staff have been reduced
Efficiency Measures: The Texas courts have implemented an enhanced case management system and electronic workflow. In the coming year, they plan to implement e-filing, an electronic document management system, a virtual self-help center and a virtual web-based information center to provide public access to records.
The Texas courts are in a better position than in FY09 to provide access and timely justice, primarily due to improvements in technology. They now have on-line court documents at the appellate courts and internal performance measurement at the Supreme Court. Intermediate appellate courts now have deadlines on new expedited cases.
Reports and Articles
Gavel to Gavel