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Testimony of Judge Barbara M. Quinn Appropriations Committee Public Hearing March 27, 2009

Governorís Bill 6363, An Act Implementing the Governorís Budget Recommendations Concerning General Government, Conservation, Development, Regulation, Protection, Judicial and Corrections  

My name is Barbara Quinn and I am the Chief Court Administrator. I am submitting this written testimony on behalf of the Judicial Branch.

Sections 16, 17 and 18 of this bill would implement the recommendation in the Governorís budget to close the Bristol and Meriden courthouses effective July 1st. The Judicial Branch did not have input into this proposal and we do not support it.  The people who use these courts will be inconvenienced, and the courts that absorb the business will feel the impact.

The Judicial Branchís goal is to keep business going in our current locations, in order to best serve the people of our state. However, as staff and budgetary constraints grow, we recognize that some adjustment may be needed. We are currently undertaking a Branch-wide analysis of the use of all of our facilities and are hopeful that we will be able to keep them all open for some use.   

In addition, the proposal does not address what will happen to the two buildings that currently house these courts. In the case of Meriden, the Branch will own the building this fall pursuant to a lease-purchase agreement that was entered into in 1989. In the case of Bristol, under the terms of the lease with the City of Bristol there is a one-year notice provision, so we will owe the city a yearís rent after notice is given.

Thank you for the opportunity to provide these written comments.


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