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Iowa's Chief Justice Calls for More Funding, Staffing for Courts

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Iowa Chief Justice Mark Cady delivered his State of the Judiciary speech to a joint session of the Iowa Legislature Wednesday. He's calling for increased staffing in the court system, which has taken a hit in budget cuts in recent years.

Cady wants court offices around the state to stay open all week. Right now they close in the afternoons twice a week. He also tells lawmakers the state doesn’t have enough juvenile officers to reach all of Iowa’s children in need.

“This is just wrong – every child who enters into our system deserves to have at least a face-to-face meeting with an assigned trained juvenile court officer.”

Cady says the courts will continue to increase efficiency by adopting a paperless court system. But he says the court needs more funding to meet its constitutional duties.

The court system is asking for an allocation of $167 million for the coming fiscal year. That’s an increase of nearly $6 million from last year.

Republican Speaker of the House Kraig Paulsen says the Chief Justices’ proposals were thoughtful and they’ll work through them.