The budget-writing committee in the Kansas House has voted to cut 18 court reporter positions in the judicial branch and eliminate 13 additional unfilled positions.
Representative Pete DeGraaf, a Mulvane Republican, says this would help prompt the judicial branch to find cost savings. He says there's institutional resistance to change.
“Most of them know that this is inevitable and actually best and it’s efficient and probably the thing that needs to happen," DeGraaf says. "But who wants to be the first one to suggest it?”
DeGraaf says the courts can record proceedings electronically.
Some committee members, like Wichita Republican Mark Hutton, question if the change could lead to problems with court records.
“And I’m concerned that we’ll get in a situation where we have to unravel a court case because we didn’t have adequate documentation of that case,” Hutton says.
The cuts would eliminate 15 percent of the state's court reporter positions. The courts would be able to keep the money saved by eliminating the jobs and redirect it for other purposes.