News Item
Chief Justice Gildea Statement on Governor’s Supplemental Budget Proposal

Posted: Friday, March 16, 2018

Earlier today, Governor Mark Dayton released his supplemental budget proposal, which included a recommendation to provide $1 million in one-time funding for the Safe and Secure Courthouse Initiative grant program. Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea issued the following statement in response to the Governor’s budget recommendation:
“Ensuring the safety of our county courthouses is a critical access-to-justice issue in Minnesota. We know that Minnesota is not immune to courthouse violence, and we know that there are important security improvements needed in virtually every court facility in the state. The judges and staff of the Minnesota Judicial Branch are grateful for Governor Dayton’s continued support of this important public safety initiative, and urge the Legislature to support new funding for this grant program.”

The Safe and Secure Courthouse Initiative was established by Chief Justice Gildea and funded by a $1 million appropriation from the Minnesota Legislature in 2016. The grant program was based on a legislative proposal brought forward by the Courthouse Security Workgroup, a statewide coalition of county and justice system partners convened by Chief Justice Gildea in 2014. The Workgroup included representatives from the Minnesota Judicial Branch, the Association of Minnesota Counties, the Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association, the Minnesota County Attorneys Association, the Minnesota Board of Public Defense, and the Minnesota Inter-County Association.

Following passage of legislative funding for the program, Chief Justice Gildea formed an Advisory Panel to oversee the grant application and award process. Grant applications were accepted between January 2017 and March 2017. In total, the Advisory Panel received grant requests from 59 counties, totaling more than $3.5 million.

In June 2017, Chief Justice Gildea announced the award of $1 million in grants to 57 counties, which were matched dollar-for-dollar by each county receiving an award. Of the 57 counties receiving a grant award in 2017, 24 received their full requested amount and 33 received partial awards.

More information on the 2017 grant awards, including a list of counties receiving grants and examples of how the grants were used »