10 months after Winnebago County announced it would cut funding to its courts, some of that money is returned. County Board Members voted Thursday night to restore thousands of dollars to the courts’ budget. This comes after months of back and forth between the County’s Former Chief Judge and the Board Chairman over the legality of the move.
The courts support the amendment, even if the amount they originally asked for, had been slashed by about $400,000.
“Amendments are going to be far and few in between, before years passed it was like a candy store,”said Winnebago County Board Member Gary Jury. “Elected officials would come over and say, ‘I need this’ and boom, they’d get it.”
Winnebago County Board Members pass a new Budget Amendment, restoring $389,000 for court services.
“Originally, it was $787,000,” said Jury. Negotiations between the Winnebago County Board, The Chairman and The Courts, that number came down. The decision was made even after the board took $925,000 from the courts last year to remedy their budget deficit. “We have to be frugal in the way we spend out money,” said Jury. The Board passed the Budget Amendment, with just one ‘no’ vote from District 3 Board Member Steve Shultz. The money will go toward funding existing jobs within the court system.
“We’re using it out of reserve funds, but that won’t put us below where we should be on reserve funds,” said Jury.
The amendment will last for the remainder of the 2018 fiscal year.