Delegates Give Voters the Right to Bring Supreme Court Budget Under Legislative Control

By Connect Clarksburg Staff | March 10, 2018
West Virginians will vote next November on an amendment to the state constitution giving the legislative branch greater say-so over the judicial system’s budget.
The House of Delegates passed the resolution by a 93-1 vote on Friday morning. The Senate, which has already passed a version of the resolution 31-0, would still need to concur with some changes made in the House.
The main change places a limit of 10 percent as the amount the Legislature could reduce the judicial system’s budget unless there’s a two-thirds majority vote.
There would be exceptions in instances where tough times call for the Legislature to reduce all state spending by that much.
That is meant to curtail possible instances of undue legislative influence on decisions of the judiciary.
This year, the court system proposes spending $139 million, a thin slice of state government’s overall spending.
Controversy started with news reports about lavish furnishings at the Supreme Court.
The expenditures included the $32,000 couch in then Chief Justice Allen Loughry’s office, the $7,500 wooden West Virginia medallion inlaid into Loughry’s floor, the $28,194 rugs in Justice Robin Davis’s office and the $130,654 for extensive renovations of Justice Beth Walker’s chambers, even though those chambers were upgraded just seven years ago.
CLICK HERE to read the rest of the story by Brad McElhinny.


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