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Connecticut GOP Says State Can't Afford New Judges

Courtesy of Pixabay

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy's last batch of 30 superior court judge nominees won approval in the state General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee on Monday. But some lawmaker’s say confirmation of the judges by the full House and Senate might depend on whether they can find the money to pay the judges.

The warning is coming mainly from Republicans, like Judiciary Committee member Doug Dubitsky, representative from Chaplin. He says the state cannot afford to pay for the new judges.

“I will be voting against all the new judges because I believe that the judicial branch does not need the new judges. And that instead we need support staff, we need marshals, we need clerks.”

Some Democratic members of the Committee, including New Haven Representative Toni Walker, who also serves as co-chair of the Appropriations Committee, agree.

“I want to reserve the right to vote no if I don’t see the financial reconciliation made so that we can support the staff that the courts so badly need.”

In response, Democratic House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz and House Democratic Majority Leader Matt Ritter say they’ll find the money.

“If it requires additional money we’ll have to find that…and I think the numbers that people are using is just not accurate. I keep hearing $9 million, that’s not accurate. The number is about $3.5 million that you’d have to put in to take care of all the judges.”

Democratic Governor Malloy says even with the 30 new judges, he expects to leave office without filling 21 superior court judge vacancies.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.