— A bill that would add 12 new circuit court branches passed the Assembly by voice vote today and is now on its way to the Senate. 

AB 470 would add four new circuit court judges in August 2020, four in August 2021 and the final four in August 2022. The director of state courts would have discretion as to which counties would receive the new judgeships. 

“We haven’t added a new judge since 2007,” the bill’s author Rep. Tyler August, R-Lake Geneva, said on the floor. “We Put this additional unnecessary stress on our judges and I think that’s a mistake. When we do we encourage slower justice, we encourage uninformed justice and we encourage mistakes to be made.”

Department of Administration fiscal estimates found there would be a one-time state funding of $31,177 and an annual cost of $275,349 for each new judgeship. DOA also said costs would rise for the counties with new judges but didn’t estimate their total. 

The bill passed 95-0.

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