Monday, March 28, 2011

Scott approves partial bailout for Florida courts

Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday approved part of a plan to keep Florida's courts operating in the face of a $72.3 million deficit expected in the current budget year due to a drop in mortgage foreclosure filing fees.

Scott's budget director, Jerry McDaniel, notified Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady that the governor has agreed to his request to temporarily shift $14 million earmarked for mediation arbitration and court education within the system's budget to pay for day-to-day operating expenses.

That amount should be enough to keep the courts functioning through April 30, McDaniel wrote in a letter to Canady. He added that it also will give the governor time to gather additional information before deciding on Canady's request to borrow $28.48 million from non-court trust funds.

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