UPDATE: Scott OKs last-minute bailout for courtsby Dara Kam | April 6th, 2011
UPDATE: Gov. Scott approved a $19,487,027 loan to tide the courts over until the end of May. The loan must repaid by the end of June.
Gov. Rick Scott signed off on a loan to state courts to fill a budget shortfall that would have resulted in two-week furloughs.
Scott waited until the last minute to approve the bailout. Palm Beach County’s chief judge Peter Blanc said Scott needed to approve the loan by Friday to prevent the furloughs. The budget deficit was caused by a drop in the number of foreclosure filings, fees from which make up the bulk of the court’s spending.
Scott and Florida Supreme Court Justice Charles Canady reached an agreement this morning, according to a press release issued by the court’s spokesman Craig Waters, to keep the courts running through the end of May.
The courts needed $72.3 million in emergency funds to keep operating through the June 30 end of the budget year. Scott had previously agreed to shift $14 million from court-related funds to pay for day-to-day operating expenses, but that is only enough to keep the courts functioning only through April 30.
Details of the amount and conditions of the loan were not immediately available, but the courts will cover the remaining shortfall through a “supplemental appropriation” not included in Canady’s original request of Scott, according to the release.