No court furloughs in 2013, but budget tight

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The head of Kentucky's judicial branch says court workers will not have to endure unpaid furloughs in 2013 but the budget remains tight.

Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. also said Thursday that layoffs have not been eliminated, but are not planned, as the branch struggles with a $28.7 million shortfall in its $186 million operating budget.

Minton made the comments in his State of the Judiciary address to lawmakers in Frankfort.

The Lexington Herald-Leader ( ) says Minton told reporters afterward that the judiciary branch lives from "month to month."

Last year, the branch furloughed 3,300 employees for three days, saving $1.2 million. It was the first time the court system in Kentucky was closed because of a funding shortfall.

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