By JON GASKELL
Capital News Service
LANSING – Michigan is eliminating 36 trial court judgeships, a move that is expected to save the state around $6 million a year in judges’ salaries, an average $140,000 each. “This is the largest cut in judgeships ever accomplished in the United States,” said Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Young. “It is unprecedented.”
That includes four Upper Peninsula positions. “This right-sizing of our judiciary is the front edge of reforms we need to make for a more service-oriented and efficient court system,” Young said. The cuts will be made through attrition over several years.
When Gov. Rick Snyder released his budget plan for Michigan’s education system on Feb. 17, the first thing that went through Holt School District bus driver Ron Pardeau’s head was, “We’re in trouble.” Pardeau, a Holt bus driver for 13 years, knows that Snyder’s proposal will mean tough times for Holt. His sentiments were echoed throughout the education community. “They’re cutting all our elective courses,” said Meredith Harper, a senior at Holt High School. “We had one more hour to fill every trimester, and now there’s nothing to fill it with.