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Proposed 2009 Milwaukee County Budget Includes Court Staff Cuts

The Wisconsin Law Journal reports on the 2009 Milwaukee County budget proposal.

From the article:

In his 2009 proposal, [County Executive Scott] Walker plans to abolish 27 staff positions, not mandated by the state, to help offset a multi-million dollar hole in the court's budget....

The most substantial cuts would be nine legal research interns who serve in a dual capacity as bailiffs and law clerks, according to Kremers. Walker plans to replace the interns with nine administrative assistants, at half the cost.

Milwaukee County Clerk of Court John Barrett said he would have a tough time attracting people to do twice the work for half the pay.

"We have lawyers in those positions now and you are not going to get a lot them to provide bailiff services with no benefits for about $10 an hour," said Barrett, who added that legal interns currently earn about $20 per hour.

Barrett also addressed eight deputy court clerk positions slated to be cut by Walker.

Barrett said that state statute requires clerks be present for court proceedings and if four in both the Misdemeanor/Traffic Division and Civil Division are eliminated, proceedings could be delayed.