Funding Challenges

As any CEO can tell you, an organization thrives only when it’s able to invest in itself—both in terms of infrastructure and human resources. Unfortunately, Oregon’s court system doesn’t have the capital it needs to make these investments. That’s worrisome news for all Oregonians.

Let’s take a closer look at the courts’ funding challenges and the implications of those challenges.

  • Oregon’s judicial salaries are among the lowest in the nation.
  • The courts’ technology system was built in the 1980s and is no longer able to meet the needs of public safety partners, businesses, or citizens.
  • Due to lack of resources, there are not enough judges in Oregon to address the needs of its citizens.
  • This means increased caseloads, case delays, and lack of meaningful access to the judicial system.
  • Judges lack the staff necessary to function efficiently.
  • Multiple courthouses around the state have not been upgraded for earthquakes and do not meet current fire and life safety codes or capacity needs.

Crunching the numbers

One county’s experience with funding: The Multnomah County circuit court takes in $3,387,729 in revenue monthly, while its operating expenses are $2,311,448. The court thus provides the state’s general fund with an excess of $1,076,281 on a monthly basis, or close to $13 million annually.