Chief Justice Cobb delivers State of Judiciary to Legislature

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb says 500 to 600 court employees in the state would be laid off if the Legislature adopts a General Fund budget proposed by Gov. Bob Riley.

She said the governor's proposed budget would cut trial courts by 8 percent and the Supreme Court by 15.5 percent.

Bell made the comments during a "State of the Judiciary" speech to a joint session of the Legislature Tuesday. She said she believes Riley was overly optimistic in his proposed budget.

Riley's communications director, Jeff Emerson, said the state finance director asked state department heads to slow down spending and that all agencies adjusted their spending except the courts. Emerson said Cobb had been warned her budget situation would get worse if she did not make spending adjustments.

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