TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) – As Governor Rick Scott and the GOP-led Florida Legislature look for more places to cut in the budget, the head of the state judiciary is warning that the judicial branch may have to start furloughs of court personnel if emergency funds aren’t approved.

“To meet the current funding crisis, the judicial branch has already implemented an emergency branch-wide hiring freeze and an emergency operating budget freeze,” Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady told the News Service of Florida.

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Still, even with those measures in place, Canady said it’s not enough to deal with the budget shortfall.

“If the current revenue shortfall is not remedied, it will be necessary for the judicial branch to impose extensive furloughs of court system personnel,” Canady said. “Such furloughs would cause a severe disruption in the functioning of the courts.”

The funding problems in the judiciary come from the State Courts Reserve Trust Fund, according to the News Service of Florida. The trust fund is supplied by fees paid into the court system. With the sheer number of foreclosure cases, the fund has been replenished through part of last year.

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Then, late in the year, it was revealed that there were massive problems with robosigners and other irregularities in the foreclosure sector. As a result, those cases stopped and the absence of funds has left the courts budget nearing the bottom.

Justice Canady has sent Governor Scott and Legislative budget writers a plan to find the money. Canady said much of it will be able to be paid back if foreclosures pick up again, according to the News Service of Florida.

So far, neither Governor Scott or legislative leaders have given their support to Canady’s plans.

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