ISSUE: What resources does the state courts system need in order to provide access to justice for businesses and individuals in an effective and efficient manner?
DISCUSSION: During the 2012 Legislative Session, the Legislature took important steps to restore revenue stability for the state courts system. The system’s heavy reliance on mortgage foreclosure filing fees as the principal source of revenue for a key trust fund made the judicial branch budget susceptible to volatility beyond its control. By shifting to a budget composed of approximately 75 percent general revenue, the Legislature helped the courts system avoid cash flow problems due to insufficient revenue in the trust fund to meet approved appropriations. With those cash-flow problems addressed, the Legislature should invest in the existing resources of the system – especially personnel and property. The emphasis of the courts’ legislative budget request is to “invest in the investment” the Legislature already has made in the judicial branch.
POSITION: The Florida Retail Federation supports a stable budget for the state courts system that sustains and protects the state’s existing investment in the state courts system, promotes access to justice for businesses and individuals, and produces savings for the state.
Samantha serves as primary legal counsel to the AIP Team, appearing on behalf of FRF in court and administrative proceedings when necessary. She represents the interests of FRF and its members in front of the legislative and executive branches of government, as well as regulatory agencies
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