Lawmakers look at adding judges

The Florida House this week approved a plan to add two new county judges, while the Senate is considering the creation of two circuit-judge positions.

The House plan (HB 5011), sponsored by Rep. Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, would lead to one additional county judge in Flagler County and one additional county judge in Citrus County. The House voted 112-0 to approve the plan Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Subcommittee is scheduled Tuesday to take up a proposal (SB 7072), sponsored by Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, that would add one circuit judge in the 9th Judicial Circuit and one circuit judge in the 12th Judicial Circuit.

The 9th Circuit is made up of Orange and Osceola counties, while the 12th Circuit is made up of DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties.

The Florida Supreme Court each year recommends adding or eliminating judgeships across the state. But the legislative proposals differ significantly from a Dec. 28 recommendation in which the Supreme Court said the state needed four additional circuit-court judges --- two in the 9th Circuit and one each in the 1st and 14th circuits.

The 1st and 14th circuits are in the Panhandle. The Supreme Court also recommended adding four county judges in Hillsborough County.

 

Information provided by The News Service of Florida.