Tuesday, June 10, 2003
Superior Court Officials Notify Vendors That Payments Might Stop July 1 if State Does Not Pass Budget
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Los Angeles Superior Court has begun the process of notifying vendors that they may not be paid after June 30 if the state has not adopted a budget for the 2003-2004 fiscal year, a spokesman said yesterday.
More than 200 letters were sent out last week as “a logical precaution,” Allan Parachini told the MetNews. The letters, which advised that the court “would appreciate it if these vendors would continue to extend their services to us while the Legislature considers the FY 2003-04 State Budget,” were also sent to contract personnel such as dependency court attorneys and mental health hearing officers, Parachini said.
In the past, Parachini explained, vendors have worked to keep the court supplied with materials during the state’s perennial budget crises. If they do not do so this year, he said, the court could be in trouble because its services and supplies budget has already “been squeezed...to the point of excruciation.”
The problem has gotten so bad, he explained, that “it’s difficult to find such pedestrian things as toner cartridge in many parts of the system.”
Asking vendors to go without payment, he acknowledged, will be a hardship for many of them, since many—such as form printers—provide a specialized service and depend on the court for a large chunk of their receipts. “We hope this is not going to be necessary,” Parachini commented.
Employees, unlike vendors and contract personnel, will not go without payment, Parachini and state courts director William Vickrey said.
Vickrey said he had received word from state Controller Steve Westly that the state “will provide the necessary funding for us to make payroll for all trial courts and all appellate courts.”
There is no indication, however, that the state will make any similar commitment for vendors or contract personnel, Vickrey said.
“That obviously is a problem for all of the courts,” he commented. “We want to treat people fairly.”
The problem is not unique to the judicial branch, Vickrey pointed out. “These problems are being faced by every area of state government...We’re still hoping that they’ll get a budget in place by the first of July,” he said.
Copyright 2003, Metropolitan News Company