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Layoffs begin at Connecticut’s Judicial Branch, courts

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HARTFORD — State employee layoffs are underway in Connecticut’s court system.

Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers notified workers who run the state’s Judicial Branch of government and related programs that the initial round of notices would be issued on Thursday. So far, 126 have received letters. Those employees come from the juvenile detention department, as well as the judicial marshal and security teams.

The branch’s budget is expected to be cut $11 million more in the 2017 fiscal year beginning July 1 than was previously expected. In all, about $86 million will be cut.

“We want to be clear that a cut of this magnitude would severely restrict, for the foreseeable future, the substantial gains the Branch has made in access to justice; in diversifying its workforce; and in providing opportunities for adult and juvenile offenders to become productive citizens through its alternatives to incarceration programs,” said a statement from Judge Patrick L. Carroll III, the chief court administrator.

In a memo sent to staff on Wednesday, Rogers and Carroll called the layoffs the “most difficult action” they’ve had to take and said they “are truly sorry that these actions are being taken now.”

Rogers and Carroll said they’re developing plans to close courthouses and offices and consolidate staff. They said they’re also looking at reducing or eliminating various services for juvenile and adult offenders.

In a plea for reconsideration of budget allocations, Carroll said in his statement, “I continue to urge both the Executive and Legislative Branches to recognize the unique constitutional obligations of the Judicial Branch to the public, and to provide the resources necessary to fulfill these responsibilities.”

Click here for continuing coverage of Connecticut’s budget crisis.

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