State/Local Funding

  • The Missouri Judiciary is primarily a state funded system. 
  • The state pays for the salaries of judges, support staff and clerical staff and for trial court technology.  Courthouses, trial court operating expenses and equipment are paid locally.

State Revenue and Appropriations

  • Missouri’s total state and federal grant appropriation for the judicial system increased from $190.8 million in FY12 to $195 million in FY13.
  • Missouri’s state general fund appropriation decreased from $8.071 million to $8.013 million.  The percent of state general funds allocated to the judiciary increased from 2.11% to 2.13%. 
  • Missouri received a $4 million core reduction in FY13.
  • Local funding has been reduced, but the amount or percentage is unknown.
  • The budget situation in the next three years is likely to stay the same.

Funding Principles for Judicial Administration

  • The Governor presents the entire state’s budget to the general assembly in the State of the State speech.  The Judiciary presents its budget to the legislative budget committees and indicates which items were recommended by the Governor.
  • The Judicial Branch has 50% flexibility to move funds between budget line items.
  • The FY13 budget provides for the technology necessary to meet the demands of the public and to make needed enhancements. 

Steps Taken to Address Tough Economic Times

Staffing Levels and Operating Expenses:  Over the past four years, the number of judges has increased by 1% while the number of trial court staff and central office staff has remained the same.  In the coming year, the number of judges will be reduced by 1%.

Service Reductions:  Over the past four years, the Missouri courts imposed 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.  In the coming year, they will again delay filling judicial vacancies and reduce the use of retired judges.

Compensation:  Over the past four years, salaries have been frozen for court staff. 

Efficiency Measures:  The Missouri courts have implemented e-filing along with an electronic document management system.  Law enforcement can file e-citations.   The courts have created a virtual self-help center.

The Missouri courts are in a similar position as they were four years ago to provide access and timely justice. 

Reports and Articles

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