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Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - 1:29pm

Ga. Courts Face Money Woes

Georgia judges said the state doesn't invest enough money to make its judicial system operate effectively and efficiently. During budget hearings, Justice Hugh Thompson of the Georgia Supreme Court said courts are struggling to keep up with their dockets.

Thompson told lawmakers the state Supreme Court’s case load is up nearly 30 percent and the lower courts are also seeing more cases.

He said that’s partly because Georgia’s population grew about 20 percent between 2000 and 2010.

But he said the state invests little in its courts.

“Georgia supports the judicial branch with about eight-tenths of one percent of the state budget. It’s remarkable that Georgia courts do as good a job as they do with only eight-tenths of one percent of the state budget,” said Thompson.

During the hearings, Thompson and other judges said one issue is a lack of a universal electronic filing system for all courts in the state.

Governor Deal is recommending one to two percent increases for the state’s various court systems in the 2014 budget.