CHARLESTON, W. Va. –The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals is proposing a larger budget than its current allocation due to changes involving the court and lower systems.
The court is seeking $146.3 million from the state Legislature for the next fiscal year, a 5.3% increase from its current budget of $139 million. Judge John Hutchison told the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday that the increase was related to salary increases for judges, planned cost increases and the operation of the new Intermediate Court of Appeals.
“If you look at our budget process and you look at our budget breakdown, you’ll see that 82.4% of our budget goes to personnel costs,” Hutchison said. “Most of them are in your counties and not in Charleston.”
According to Hutchison, about 120 court employees of the budget’s 1,572 employees are in the Charleston area. About 5% of the estimated budget funding will go to state Supreme Court operations.
“That gives you an idea of how much of our budget is spread across the state and not concentrated in Charleston,” he said.
“All other employees work for other divisions, work for circuit judges, work for magistrates, work for family court judges.”
The Supreme Court’s budget includes approximately $4.4 million for the new Intermediate Court of Appeals; the legislature approved the establishment of the court in the 2021 session to handle appeals from lower courts, state agencies, and the judges’ workers’ compensation board.