Chief Justice Lauds Governor's Proposal to Increase Court Security

March 13, 2013
Chief Justice Leigh I. Saufley today commended Governor Paul R. LePage's proposal to provide an increase for court security in the Fiscal Year 2013 Supplemental budget, outlined for the Legislature by Commissioner H.Sawin Millet, Jr. this afternoon. The Governor proposed increasing the Judicial Branch budget by $788,312. The money will be specifically targeted to increase entry screening, to detect firearms and other weapons that are being brought into Maine's courthouses.

In her State of the Judiciary speech last month, the Chief Justice had observed that every $120,000 added to the court budget allowed for the equivalent screening one additional courthouse full time. Currently the budget is sufficient to screen approximately 30% of all court days. Today, the Chief Justice said, "It is important for all Maine citizens to feel safe, and to be safe, when they enter the state courts. Full time entry screening is particularly important to the victims of domestic violence, who must come to courts to obtain protection from abuse orders. I applaud Governor LePage not only for recognizing this need, but also for taking substantial action to make Maine's courts safer. I encourage the Appropriations Committee and the Legislature to approve the Governor's proposed Judicial Branch supplemental budget, to help insure that Maine courts are a safe place to resolve disputes."