Budget Crisis Uncovered In Allegheny County

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Municipal Courts building in downtown Pittsburgh operates 24/7 365 days a year round the clock for court hearings and arraignments, but come November it’s one court function that will be running out money.

“Every citizen should be able to have their case heard and so we have to be careful of those services that we’re looking to either reduce or eliminate,” Raymond Billotte, the court administrator, said.

The courts say they’ve cut as much as possible but will be $5 million short in providing the public legally required court access, juvenile probation services and a child support collection program and they’re not alone.

“We’re facing a budget crisis,” Allegheny County Controller Mark Patrick Flaherty said.

Because of cutbacks in state and federal funding, flat revenues and increased health care costs, Flaherty says the county is looking at a shortfall next year of more than $30 million dollars that will hit all departments.

“We have so much revenue for so many services and you’re going to have to start making tough choices on what to do,” Flaherty said.

That means both significant layoffs and cutbacks in services sooner rather than later. The county has ordered the community college to cut expenses by $2.5 million and administrators are looking at reducing offerings before the end of the year.

But where the students will have little recourse, the courts may mount a legal challenge.

The Onorato administration says it will work with the court system but everyone needs to tighten its belt and live within its mean.

However, if funding isn’t restored, a judge may decide who’s right.

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One Comment

  1. ANONYMOUS says:

    MAKE CRIMINALS PAY FOR THEIR FINES AND COURT COSTS WHICH THE COUNTY DOES NOT HANDLE PROPERLY. TREAT CRIMINALS LIKE THEY DESERVE-GET THE MONEY FROM THEM…MILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF FINES ARE NOT BEING PAID AND THE COUNTY KNOWS IT. HAVE FINES WITHDRAWN FROM PAY CHECKS,SSI,WELFARE WHATEVER…YOU DO IT FOR CHILD SUPPORT,ALIMONY AND OTHER THINGS. COME ON LETS USE SOME COMMON SENSE HERE!!!!!

  2. Jay Baxter says:

    It’s true, Judges in criminal court place costs on the county or waive the costs close to 90% of the time. THen they complain that the court is under funded. If the defendants plead guilty or are found guilty then they should pay the costs just like any loser in a lawsuit.

    1. ANONYMOUS says:

      I thank you for an intelligent response. My spouse still owes court costs,fines and other things associated with her DUI offenses. Needless to say I am no longer with her due to her addictions but if I miss an alimony pende lite payment I could get thrown in jail. (I can not even miss a payment because it is automatically deducted from my pay) The entire judicial system within the county needs to be updated its 2011 for God’s sake.

  3. ANONYMOUS says:

    Yeah, whatever happened with that Amnesty for court costs! that was a big joke. There is so much wasted manpower in the court system. when i go to child support court, so many of the staff are playing games, SLEEPING at their desks, having parties, reading books, surfing the net, etc!!! but if i’m late with one support payment, they want to throw my butt in JAIL!!!! The courts need to operate like private industry and lay off all the waste there starting with the top!

  4. Critter says:

    democrats. keep voting for them

  5. Tsar Pointless says:

    Look on the bright side, Pittsburgh. The Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates all have state-of-the-art pretty little places in which to play their cute little games.

    Your kid may have to go further to school soon, your water mains may break every week, your roads and bridges will continue to deteriorate, your air and water will get more polluted, and your job will likely disappear soon, but Sid the Kid is back on the ice, and the Steelers won on Sunday.

    So, fret not, for all is not lost!

  6. Moron Cope says:

    Give that stupid yellow dish towel a wave and all of your problems will disapear

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