The Judicial Council has endorsed a cost-cutting direction for court construction statewide, including the reassessment of 13 projects and further construction budget trimming on 24 projects. The council approved recommendations from the Court Facilities Working Group that are expected to yield significant, long-term savings throughout the $5 billion program.
The New Sacramento Criminal Courthouse must reduce hard construction costs by a minimum of 10 percent. Currently the proposed courthouse for Sacramento is estimated to cost $437,516,000 million. A 10 percent cut will reduce costs by $43,751,600 million. One recommendation made by the Judicial Council is that Sacramento reduces number of courtrooms from 44 to 42 to reflect reduction of 2 new judgeships, pending fall 2012 Judicial Council action to adopt update to new judgeship requirements, in addition to 10% reduction. The new courthouse budget would now be $393,764,400 million with a target to achieve low-cost construction methodologies.
Senate Bill 1407 was enacted in 2008 to authorize up to $5 billion in funding for new and renovated courthouses using court fees, penalties, and assessments rather than taxpayer revenues from the state’s General Fund. Since 2009, more than $1.1 billion in funding originally designated for courthouse construction has been borrowed, swept to the state’s General Fund, or redirected to court operations.