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Chief justice: Utah courts facing tough budget

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The chief justice of the Utah Supreme Court says the state court system won't be able to avoid furloughs if legislators order more than a 3 percent cut from its budget.

Christine Durham said in her State of the Judiciary address Monday that the court system has already cut 6 percent of its work force, implemented a hiring freeze and delayed filling judicial vacancies.

Durham says if furloughs occur, they would further delay a growing backlog of cases that increased by 15 percent in the past year.

State lawmakers are looking to cut about $700 million from the state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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