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Kentucky Waits to Appoint New Judges in Budget Crisis

From Kentucky Public Radio's Tony McVeighSenior judges in Kentucky are going to remain in their current positions for several months to help save the commonwealth some much-needed revenue. Right now, there are 27 judicial vacancies in the state, due mostly to judicial retirements. Governor Beshear gets to fill those positions, but state Supreme Court Chief Justice John Minton is going to wait until July before convening the commissions that recommend candidates to the governor. In the meantime, Minton says senior judges, who are paid through the judicial retirement system, will fill the vacancies. “The result of that is a potential savings for the state budget," says Minton, "and in particular the judicial branch budget for the coming months, while these vacancies are held by these retiring judges.”Minton says the move will save the state more than one million dollars, without jeopardizing the integrity of the state’s judicial system. Once the judicial appointments begin, the first to be filled are three vacant judgeships in Jefferson County.