In a letter to Santa Clarita city officials that arrived Thursday, the Judicial Council of California said the state won’t be funding any new courthouse projects this year – including one that had been on the city and county’s wish list for the Santa Clarita Valley.
The letter came in reply to an inquiry from the city in November.
“Additional developments related to funding for the judicial branch construction program are distressing,” Court Administrator Steven Jahr writes.
“The governor’s budget, released Jan. 10, indicated that general fund dollars will be unavailable next year to pay for the Gov. George Deukmejian Courthouse in Long Beach,” Jahr writes. “This new courthouse is scheduled to open in August 2013, when the fist ongoing payments become due for the construction, operations and maintenance of this facility.”
His letter continues: “Accordingly, on Dec. 13, 2012, the Court Facilities Working Group recommended that four additional projects – in Sacramento, Los Angeles, Fresno and Nevada City – be delayed indefinitely if the Legislature directs that the court construction funds be used to finance this new (Long Beach) courthouse.”
Indefinite delays of urgently needed courthouse projects across California are the result of the state’s multiyear fiscal crisis, Jahr said.
“We can move forward with only the projects for which funding is provided,” Jahr said.
“I understand the courthouse in your community is very important to the city and your constituents,” his letter concludes, “and I thank you for your support of efforts to restore funding to the construction program.”