Court chief justice warns of court cutbacks

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The chief justice of the Vermont Supreme Court says layoffs and the complete closing of some court could be coming as part of statewide budget tightening.

In a memo to court workers, Chief Justice Paul Reiber says none of the choices are good.

State courts are already closed a half-day each week.

Last week the administration of Gov. James Douglas asked department and agency heads for plans to reduce their budgets by 8 percent.

For Vermont’s judiciary that translates to a cut of $2.4 million.

Reiber says one way for the courts to reach that goal would be to lay off 16 employees and close courts in seven counties. Another scenario is to lay off 36 people and make all workers take 12 days off without pay.

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