A Vilas County Circuit Court judge laid out the case last week that the county board should lobby for a second judgeship there.
At the county board meeting, Judge Neal Nielsen said though a core of the balanced government between legislative, administrative and judicial, the entire court system in Wisconsin takes up a small percentage of the state tax dollar…
“that figure is astonishingly low. Most people wouldn’t recognize it. As I said, that’s 85 cents of every 100 dollars of state tax revenue goes to the courts…”
That money runs all the way from the State Supreme Court, through all the Appeals Courts, down to paying the judges and court reporters at the local level. He says Vilas county’s costs of that are about $176,000 after revenues were factored in. He says that’s just over 1 percent of last year’s tax levy of just under $14 million.
Judge Nielsen said Vials is one of just a handful of counties that has one judge hear all the cases. He says the workload is increasing and eventually, at the current pace, the workload for him would be the highest rate in the state. He says the current load at times pressures everyone to move cases along perhaps faster than they should be….
“….I think there’s an overwhelming sense inside the courtroom on many days of that pressure. You can feel the pressure in the room…to move that case, what’s the next one because we have so many cases on the docket….”
Nielsen asked the board to lobby for a second judgeship and to writhe the legislature to continue to provide more money for the court.