Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier issued the following statement today on the increased funding for the judicial branch following the signing of the Fiscal Year 2020 budget by Governor J.B. Pritzker.

“On behalf of the entire court, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the General Assembly and the Governor for their willingness to confront the growing financial problems faced by the Judicial Branch and to do so in a concrete and constructive way. After five years of flat appropriations and rising expenses, most of which were mandated by law and beyond our control, the court was quickly losing its ability to adequately carry out its core Constitutional and statutory responsibilities as the third branch of government. Our obligation to reimburse counties for critical probation services was particularly strained. The Judicial Branch appropriation for the Fiscal Year 2020 promises to turn that situation around and, in the end, actually save taxpayers money.

This did not happen by itself. It was the result of education, negotiation, and cooperation between all three branches of government, and tireless efforts by officials and staff representing the court, the legislature and the Governor’s office.

Government does not always work the way it should. This time it did, and the People of Illinois are better off as a result. The court is committed to being a good steward of the resources entrusted to it, and we will do everything within our ability to make sure that those resources are dedicated to providing a judicial process that is efficient, effective and fair as guaranteed by the U.S. and Illinois Constitutions.”