The Governor's budget includes $5 million from the General Fund for the Judicial Council for capital outlay. This amount would fund various phases of site acquisition, planning, and construction to renovate space for the Third Appellate District Court in Sacramento and construct a new appellate courthouse in Fresno and Santa Ana.
We recommend the Legislature delete $5,004,000 for three projects because (1) the Judicial Council has not provided any information to substantiate the need or cost for these proposals and (2) the Task Force on Court Facilities has not submitted final recommendations concerning court facilities. (Delete Items 0250-301-0001 , 0250-301-0001 , and 0250-301-0001 .)
The budget proposes $5,004,000 from the General Fund to renovate space for the Third Appellate District Court ($283,000) and construct a new appellate courthouse in Santa Ana ($3,215,000) and Fresno ($1,506,000). The Judicial Council provided no information to substantiate either the need or cost for these projects. The only information available on the proposed new courthouses is a short description in the 2000-01 Governor's Budget document.
Further, the Task Force on Court Facilities established by Chapter 850, Statutes of 1997 (AB 233, Escutia and Pringle) is responsible for recommendations regarding appellate and trial court facility needs, options for expansion, maintenance issues, and capital improvement programs. The task force is in the process of developing these recommendations. A final report containing recommendations is to be released on or before July 1, 2001. A request to renovate one facility and construct two new courthouses is premature until the task force's final recommendations are available for legislative review.
In view of the lack of information on the budget proposals and the pending task force recommendations, we recommend the Legislature delete a total of $5,004,000 for these projects.