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The Honorable Janet Napolitano
1700 West Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Dear Governor Napolitano:
The Joint Study Committee on State Funding of the Court System (Committee) was
established by Laws 2002, Chapter 291. The Committee was charged with: (1) reviewing state
funding of the Arizona court system; (2) examining state funded systems and recommending those
components of the judicial system that should be funded by the state; and (3) recommending a plan
for the state to fund the judicial system. This recommendation is required to include: (1) the time
frame for implementation; (2) the revenue source for the increased state responsibility; and (3) the
fee structure, including costs and surcharges. The enabling statute further requires the Committee's
recommendations to be reported by June 30, 2003.
The Committee was cochaired last year by Senator Cirillo and Representative Robson. It
met once, breaking into two working groups: (1) probation and (2) limited jurisdiction courts. The
probation working group met once. The limited jurisdiction working group did not meet. After the
initial meeting of the full Committee, no additional Committee hearings were held. However, the
probation working group did issue a report, which was mailed to all members of the full Committee.
(A copy ofthe report is attached.)
Earlier this summer, we were appointed to replace Senator Cirillo and Representative
Robson as the chairs of the Committee. Due to the length of the legislative session this year, we
were unable to convene the Committee to review the work of the previous chairs or discuss
potential recommendations in time to meet the Committee's statutory reporting deadline. After
much discussion and deliberation, we have decided not to further convene the Committee. We wish
to thank the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives for appointing
us to serve on this Committee, and we thank the other Committee members for their service. Please
accept this letter as an indication of the Committee having met its statutory obligation to report.
Senator Jim Weiers
ARIZONA DEPT. OFLIBRARY
ARCHIVES &. PUBLIC RECORDS
NOV 1 5 2004
Joint Study Committee on State
Funding of the'Court System
Report of the Probation Working Group
The working group met on November 14,2002 to discuss the current bifurcated
funding scheme for probation and to make suggestions regarding possible changes.
Presentations were made by the Administrative Office ofthe Courts (AOC) and the
County Supervisors Association (CSA). (Please see the attached handouts from the
The presentation by the AOC centered on the history behind the funding of
probation in Arizona. Ofparticular focus were specific historical junctures that
contributed to the State taking on more responsibility for probation funding yet at the
same time turning control of probation officer salaries over to the counties. The AOC
presentation and the CSA presentation concluded that the State should take over all
operations funding associated with probation. In addition, the AOC recommended that
the State establish one integrated personnel system, increase probation officer salaries to
market level and add a deferred retirement option plan for the officers.
Members of the working group discussed the recommendations made by the AOC
and CSA. Some concern was expressed over the ability ofthe State to absorb the costs
associated with all of the AOC proposals, particularly in light ofthe current budget
shortfall. Members reached consensus on the following:
• The State should take over all operations funding associated with probation.
• The State should decrease shared state revenues to offset the cost ofthe State taking
over probation funding currently provided by the counties.
• The State should establish one probation personnel and salary system to be operated
at the local level. The State will set salary ranges.
• The State should retain probation fees and any federal monies currently used by the
counties to fund probation.
Members further encouraged the AOC to proceed with a request for proposals (RFP)
it is issuing to study implementation of a state-wide personnel system for probation,
includi~g costs associated with such a system. The AOC believes that the RFP can be
issued ~y the end of this year with the study taking an additional three to six months.
Prepared by Senate Research Staff
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