BROOKVILLE — Pennsylvania’s counties took a hit in the new Pennsylvania budget.

Last week Jefferson County Commissioner Jeff Pisarcik said the commissioners learned through the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) that the counties would be receiving about one-third less funding from the state to fund the court system than it had the previous year.

“We have been receiving an average of $70,000 a year,” said Pisarcik. “That will be reduced by about $30,000.” The funding shortfall will be met from county funds.

According to CCAP. “As part of the final FY 2016-2017 state budget that became law in July, the funding for county court costs, including the per judicial position funding, was decreased by $12 million, or about 34 percent. The funds were shifted late in the budget process to cover a shortfall in the initial appropriation for judicial salaries. Prior to this fiscal year, the reimbursement had been around $70,000, although more recently falling into the $60,000 range.”

CCAP’s Platform calls for an increase in the county court reimbursement to $150,000 per judicial position, coupled with indexing for future growth.

CCAP also supports legislation authorizing the county governing body to abolish the office of constable.

The association supports amendment to PA Code 201, Chapter 50, Rule 5000 relating to court reporting, to provide that fees for copies of court transcripts are paid to the county general fund for its use and not to the court reporters.

The association supports legislation requiring the Commonwealth to pay the costs for the public defenders office and other measures.

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