Date: February 26, 2002 Contact: Laura Kiernan
Court Information Officer
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CONCORD—Court officials said today that a $300,000 special appropriation for district and probate court security, signed into law last week by Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, eliminates a budget shortfall that could have required some courthouses to close down.

Donald D. Goodnow, director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, said House and Senate leadership, working with Edwin W. Kelly, the administrative judge of the District Court, had moved expeditiously to fill the gap to allow the courts to stay open with adequate security. "Everybody recognized the need to assure the public that our state courts are safe places to resolve disputes. These funds will allow court operations to continue without interruption," Goodnow said.

The $300,000 will be used over the next four months to maintain existing security in 37 district court sites, six family courts and two probate courts. The supplemental appropriation restores funds to the Judicial Branch appropriation for security which the legislature had reduced by $1.8 million in the June 2001 biennial appropriation. The Judicial Branch is currently implementing an overall plan to reduce court security expenditures in order to stay within the reduced appropriation.