In a few Florida counties such as  Pinellas, Broward, Pasco, and Pinellas, budget issues have been effective. Many clerks of courts say that due to this action, there have been fewer office hours, layoffs, and furloughs.
Howard Forman, Broward Clerk of Courts, says  “The Senate was pretty much on our side and the House wasn’t and the House won.”
Needing to make up a deficit within a state trust fund, budgets were cut by 5% by clerks of courts; lawmakers are being blamed.
A trust fund that has relies on revenue from fees and fines feeds Florida clerks. After a rapid rate of foreclosure filing fees came though, the legislature decided to take away funds from other things. Now that there has been a decrease in fees such as foreclosure and speeding tickets, among other things, there is a $22.4 million budget deficit.
Since the money was never restored to recover the clerks, many consequential actions have been made, affecting jobs and the whole industry.
Clerk O’Neil of Pasco county has not yet reached the required 5% quota for budget cuts and knows that there must be more to shred, but no decisions have been made as of yet.
Unlike other clerks, Clerk Pat Frank of Hillsborough county says that with her budget down to $1.45 million, she will not be resorting to challenges others have faced such as layoffs, fewer office hours, or furloughs.
In other countries such as Hernando County, similar effects are taking place to the budget cuts that seem to hit employers where it hurts.
A comment was wanted out of Rep. Richard Corcoran on Monday, but none was given. Corcoran is a Land O’ Lakes Republican Representative who chairs in the House appropriations committee.
A 10% of court related fines are available to clerks by law for them to use on technology. Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole has said that clerks could close their gap in budgets with that 10% of money set aside.
While that holds true for some clerks, others need all they can get for their technology spending. Senator Tom Lee, R-Brandon believes this is a call for legislative action and perhaps, the only solution is to allow clerks access to their trust funds. “We can’t keep doing this year after year,” he said.
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