Paris, IL. (ECWd) -
Judge Garst talked to the Edgar County Board for around 25 minutes during the Marsh 23, 2015 Study Session in relation to the state budget, and that at least the portion affecting Court Reporters will take affect on April 1st. There is enough money in the budget to operate court services "at the current service level" thru April. The Supreme Court has informed the Circuit Courts that they must attempt to operate thru the fiscal year - for essential court services.
Some of the essential services include court reporters for felony criminal cases. Civil cases will have to pay for their own court reporters since it is not considered "essential" for civil cases.
Effective April 1st, the 5th Circuit will only use court reporters every five days, which should carry them thru mid-May. This affects wages, insurance, retirements, etc, and some Circuits are laying off the highest paid court reporters - which could have a great impact on their retirement packages due to being based on their last four years.
They are still holding hope that this will be fixed by the State by April 1st - but just in case, Judge Garst asked the County Board to hire court reporters on a Per Diem basis and pay them out of the County General Fund if it came down to needing them for essential services.
Judge Garst @ ~1:00 mark in the video: