State Budget: State Judiciary and Corrections

In the realm of courts and corrections, JFC’s actions varied between adopting, modifying and rejecting the governor’s proposals. Overall, JFC approved the governor’s proposals to create a new supreme court and circuit court block grant. JFC slightly modified the circuit court block grant by delaying the consolidations of appropriations under the new block grant until the second year of the biennium. JFC deleted the governor’s proposal to remove various fee exemptions from the civil clerk fee and justice information fee and rejected the governor’s proposal to move the appropriations of the Judicial Commission under the supreme court’s purview.

The governor’s budget also provided the attorney general authority to appoint, in the unclassified service, a solicitor general and no more than three deputy solicitors general. Further, the governor’s recommendation provides the Attorney General authority to assign assistant attorneys general to assist the Solicitor General. In a slight revision to the governor’s recommendation, the budget committee voted to eliminate four vacant positions in the agency in exchange for creating these four new appointed positions.

JFC modified the governor’s proposal to delete 60 positions for the third shift staffing in guard towers at correctional institutions across the state. While maintaining most of the staff reductions, JFC voted to retain six positions and funding at the Waupun Correctional Institution, sunsetting the funding for the six positions in January 2017.