Oregon court budget cuts - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Oregon court budget cuts

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PENDLETON, OREGON.—Most Oregon state government agencies have been taking furlough days for some time because of budget cuts.  However, the circuit court system had found a way around it, until now.  The courts are now taking furlough days, last Friday being the first. 

"Other than closing the doors at 4:30pm and putting a drop box out so people can leave their payments or filings it really hasn't affected the public that much but that will change today," says Roy Blaine, Trial Court Administrator.

Another big loss is the Family Law Facilitator no longer exists after Wednesday.  Barbara Snyder is responsible for giving legal guidance to people who cannot afford a lawyer.  She is retiring and filling her position is not in the budget. 

"A lot of them have been coming to me for a long time and over the years I've helped them maybe several times and I think when they come in and realize they don't have that help anymore I think they'll be angry and frustrated," says Barbara Snyder, Family Law Facilitator.

"It sucks because ladies like this help poor people like me when we need help they help us out, because we can't afford it.  We don't know what to do," says Franklin Brewer Jr., client.

The changes come after the courts were allotted $3.9 million for their two-year budget, but they are short $.7 million.  So far the cut backs have meant 8 furlough days a year, closing the public counter an hour early and not filling four positions after the employees either retired or moved on.  

These changes may not be the last.  Blaine says they are contemplating whether or not to close the public counter by 3:30pm and possible layoffs.