September 18, 2015
The Honorable Edmund G. Brown Jr.
Governor of California
State Capitol Building, 1st Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: SB 229 (Roth) Request for Signature
Dear Governor Brown:
This letter is to convey Inland Action’s support for SB 229 (Roth) and to urge that you sign this bill into law. Inland Action is a non-profit organization of business and community leaders formed in 1962 and dedicated to the economic and community betterment of the Southern California region. SB 229 would provide funding for twelve judgeships in California to be allocated by the Judicial Council in accordance with uniform criteria and the 2012 Judicial Needs Assessment.
There is a dramatic shortage of judgeships in the Inland Empire counties of San Bernardino and Riverside. San Bernardino Superior Court is one of the most underfunded and understaffed court systems in California, even though it handles some of the highest caseloads in the State. On December 13, 2012, the California Judicial Council voted to approve the 2012 Judicial Needs Assessment which determined that the County of San Bernardino needed 156 judges to meet the community’s needs. Unfortunately, to date, only a little over half of those judgeships are funded.
Court budget reductions over the years have resulted in drastic operational and service cuts throughout the County. During this period, San Bernardino County court hours in Chino, Twin Peaks, Big Bear and Needles have been eliminated or significantly reduced due to funding issues. SB 229 would help alleviate the backlog of cases that is slowing the wheels of justice in San Bernardino County by providing new judges to hear those matters.
Lack of judgeships is depriving access to basic court services to a large percentage of residents living in San Bernardino County, which is the largest county in the contiguous United States. There is an undue and costly burden on litigants, jurors, and witnesses. Lack of judgeships for the San Bernardino Superior Court has dramatically impacted the business community and citizenry who deserve access to justice at the same level as other communities throughout the State. For these reasons, Inland Action urges that you sign SB 229 to add judgeships in the State.
CC – June Clark, Deputy Legislative Secretary