Archive for January 4th, 2016

Kansas Supreme Court Issues Ruling on Separation of Powers

posted by Judge_Burke @ 16:30 PM
January 4, 2016

The Kansas Supreme Court recently struck down a section of state law that took away the court’s authority to appoint chief judges in the state’s 31 judicial districts in a case that could threaten court funding.

The court said the section violates a provision of the state constitution giving the state supreme court general administrative authority over the state’s courts, reported the Kansas City Star, the Topeka Capital-Journal and the Lawrence Journal-World. The law had switched power to appoint the chief judges from the state supreme court to the judges in each district.

The court also found a violation of the separation of powers doctrine.

The decision “may bring the state closer to a crisis over court funding,” according to the Capital-Journal. A nonseverability clause in the 2014 law says a decision striking down any provision of the law would invalidate the entire law, including, apparently, provisions for state funding of the judiciary.



Bad News for Drug Court and DWI Courts in Wyoming

posted by Judge_Burke @ 15:30 PM
January 4, 2016

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead’s budget recommendations for the upcoming 2017-18 biennium include a nearly $4.8 million reduction in funding for the state’s Court Supervised Treatment programs such as Drug Court and DUI Court.

The programs are administered by the Department of Health’s Behavioral Health division.  The suggested cuts amount to about 56 percent of the budget for those programs.  DOH was counting on receiving that money as part of the state’s tobacco settlement funds.

Wyoming and 45 other states take in millions of dollars each year as the result of a settlement reached back in the late 1990s with the country’s five largest tobacco companies.  But that revenue has been slowly declining over the past few years.