For the second month in a row, Gov. Mike Beebe has released $40,000 from his emergency fund to keep 125 Arkansas trial court assistants from taking unpaid furloughs because of a court funding crunch caused by declining revenues, reports the Arkansas News Bureau. Declining revenues from fewer civil case filings, among other problems, have resulted in cash-flow problems that jeopardized pay for trial court personnel.
In November, the governor released $40,000 from his emergency funds to prevent layoffs and furloughs this month. Chief Justice Jim Hannah recently recommended in an e-mail to the state's circuit and district judges that trial court assistants take at least three furlough days in January because of the financial problem. Hannah also has created a committee of judges and lawmakers to look at the declining revenue and develop a long-term solution. If that panel does come up with a possible solution, it might be something the Legislature will consider during the fiscal session that begins Feb. 13.