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FY 2021 Budget

Iowa Judicial Branch FY 21 Budget Request: Investing in Your Communities

Investing in Rural Counties: $878,662

Staffing in clerk of court offices in 32 counties is below the recommended level of 2.5 staff. A minimum of 2.5 clerk positions are recommended in each courthouse to ensure safety, fiscal responsibility, full-time coverage, and full-service. To support the vitality of rural courthouses, the 17 additional clerk staff will be distributed to counties that have fewer than 2.5 clerk staff.

Investing in Human Capital – Existing and New Personnel: $6,040,053

Iowans in all 99 counties benefit from the services provided by the 1,700 judicial officers and employees. These judicial officers and employees are members of your communities. The education, experience and abilities of these individuals are the best assets of the judicial branch. Judicial officers and employees resolve disputes and provide justice to Iowans who need assistance in the over 700,000 cases filed every year.

  • 2.1% across the board increase mandated in employee contracts $1,120,683
  • 2.1 % across the board increase for non-contract employees so they are treated the same as the contract employees $1,517,559
  • 1% step increase for contract and non-contract employees $975,863
  • 2.1 % increase for judicial officers so that they receive the same across the board increase as other judicial branch employees $883,928
  • Add 4 district associate judges and 12 staff (e.g. court reporters, judicial specialists, law clerks) to address increasing workload and provide more timely resolution of Iowans’ disputes. $1,542,020

According to the workload formulas developed by the National Center for State Courts, Iowans need 30 additional judges to process the current judicial branch workload. Twenty of the needed judicial officers are at the district associate court level. The request for four district associate judges is part of a five-year plan to address this deficit. The support staff will assist the new district associate judges and existing judicial officers provide more timely resolution of Iowan’s disputes.

Investing in Access to Justice $250,000

The Jury and Witness Fund pays for jurors’ per diem, interpreters and witness reimbursement. In order to provide more efficient services to the Iowans who serve as interpreters and those who need interpreters, the judicial branch requests a $250,000 increase to the Jury and Witness fund. This fund has not been increased in over 15 years.

FY 2020 appropriation $181,523,737
FY 2021 budget request $188,692,452 (3.95% increase)

Letter from State Court administrator (November 27, 2019)
2019 Annual Report (January 16, 2020)
State Court Administrator's presentation to Justice System  Appropriations Subcommittee (February 26, 2020)

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