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6th Principle

Some components of the State Courts System are more appropriately funded from the general fund and should remain so.

The balance between what the state must pay as a general obligation of government and what users should pay in order to access their court system should be carefully considered as part of the stabilization of court funding and, once properly determined, the balance needs to be carefully guarded so Florida citizens are always assured of their constitutional right of access to the courts without sale, denial, or delay.

In particular, the cost for judges should remain as a general obligation of Florida government.  The process for determining the number of judges Florida needs is based in Article V, Section 9, of the Florida Constitution.  The constitution requires the Supreme Court to certify the need to the Legislature, which has the ultimate power to decide how many judgeships to establish.  Given that prerogative of the Legislature, it would be inappropriate to tie that process to the revenue in a trust fund.

The operating and staff resources needed to keep the courts functioning can be paid from trust funds and, once a baseline is set, should only need adjusting based on workload growth, which would be accompanied by growth in filing fee revenue.