Connecticut Supreme Court. CTMirror File Photo
Connecticut Supreme Court building
Connecticut Supreme Court building CTMirror File Photo

The state Judicial Branch announced Thursday it had begun serving another 113 layoff notices to employees, bringing total notices served to 239.

Branch spokeswoman Rhonda Stearley-Hebert wrote in a media statement that the latest round, all of which should be served by the end of next week, “does not represent the final number.”

That won’t be settled, she added, until after the General Assembly adopts a budget for the upcoming 2016-17 fiscal year. Legislators are expected to return to the Capitol in special session late next week to adopt a new spending plan.

Among the workers who received layoff notices on Thursday, Stearley-Hebert wrote, were clinical and case management coordinators, family relations counselors, probation officers, and specialists who provide assessments used in connection with bail determinations, arraignments, community placements and supervised release.

Court officials have been preparing for possible job losses since February when Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the legislature first began trying to solve a shortfall in 2016-17 finances that has grown to about $960 million, or 5 percent of annual operating costs.

In a letter to the governor and legislative leaders earlier this week, Judge Patrick L. Carroll III, the chief court administrator, warned that the governor’s last budget proposal, if enacted,  would lead court officials to lay off at least 600 workers in addition to the 126 served with pink slips last month.

The tentative budget deal leaders of the legislature’s Democratic majority struck with Malloy on Tuesday would reduce the branch’s salaries account, though not as severely as the governor proposed.

Malloy wanted to cut almost $58 million from the $385.3 million he and legislators designated for court wages in the preliminary 2016-17 budget adopted last summer.

Though full details of the tentative budget deal were not available Thursday, a line-item summary released by the House and Senate Democratic caucuses recommends a $35.1 million cut.

Keith has spent most of his 31 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances, analyzing such topics as income tax equity, waste in government and the complex funding systems behind Connecticut’s transportation and social services networks. He has been the state finances reporter at CT Mirror since it launched in 2010. Prior to joining CT Mirror Keith was State Capitol bureau chief for The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, a reporter for the Day of New London, and a former contributing writer to The New York Times. Keith is a graduate of and a former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.

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