California's chief justice said she was "encouraged" that the budget deal worked out between Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature would end a pattern of funding cuts for courts and restore at least some money lost previously.
Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye said in a prepared statement Tuesday morning the state spending plan hammered out the day before "is an initial step forward" to rebuild "the kind of access to justice the public deserves."
It now falls to the Judicial Council and a newly created Trial Court Budget Advisory Committee to work on how that money is allocated to trial and appellate courts.
Cantil-Sakauye's remarks are a turnaround from her warnings at the beginning of the budget process. In March she declared, "I am afraid California is on the wrong side of history when it comes to its funding of justice .... Our judicial branch budget has been cut greater and deeper than any other court in the United States."