Location: SCR 352
Underfunded Courthouse Facility and Court Security Cash Fund Grants
COUNTY COURTHOUSE AND COUNTY JAIL FUNDING AND OVERCROWDING SOLUTIONS
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03:47 PM -- Underfunded Courthouse Facility and Court Security Cash Fund Grants
Chris Ryan, Acting State Court Administrator, Colorado Judicial Branch, discussed the function of county courthouses and the Courthouse Security Cash Fund. He emphasized that courthouses often house other county services beyond courts and noted that he views the relationship as a state and county partnership. He discussed the benefits provided by the state, such as court personnel. He then explained criteria to receive grants from the Courthouse Security Cash Fund. Funds are required to be supplemental and may only be used for personnel, equipment, and training. The vast majority (90 percent) of requests are for training. The fund is subsidized by a fee imposed on court cases plus general fund appropriations. Mr. Ryan answered questions from the committee about the structure of other state court systems and why the District Attorney's Office is a county responsibility in Colorado. Mr. Ryan relayed that statutory changes would be necessary to change the court structure in this state as well as the funding mechanisms related to the Courthouse Security Cash Fund. The committee expressed an interest in how other states structure their court systems.
Marty Galvin, Senior Finance Manager, Office of the State Court Administrator, discussed the Underfunded Courthouse Facility Fund. He explained that affiliated grant funds can only be used for master planning services, matching funds, and emergency needs. The fund receives an annual general fund appropriation of 2 million dollars and has not received any gifts, grants, or donations. He further relayed that the demand outweighs the amount of available funds and approximately 43 percent of the grant requests are accepted. He answered questions from the committee about the number of underfunded courthouses across the state, historical preservation, and fee revenue funds.
Steve Allen, Joint Budget Committee Staff, answered questions about the County Jail Assistance Fund that was referenced earlier in the committee by Sheriff Valdez of Archuleta County. Mr. Allen confirmed that the fund has been repealed and explained that he is not aware of any other state funding sources that jails could access.
Representative Beckman suggested that Joint Budget Committee (JBC) staff speak to both the Underfunded Courthouse Facility and Court Security Cash Fund at a future meeting.