Senate Appropriations Committee

Killed Bill to Address


In San Bernardino County



“I am very disappointed that the critical need for access to justice in my community continues to be overlooked,” Assemblyman Obernolte concluded.  “The judge shortage in San Bernardino County and other rural areas is unacceptable and solving it should be a top priority in the Legislature. Unfortunately, this was not the year but I will continue to fight for more judges in the years to come.” 



Friday August 12th, in Sacramento Assembly Bill #2341 authored by Assemblyman Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia) was killed by the Senate Appropriations Committee, despite amendments that removed opposition from major labor groups. The Legislation would have provided San Bernardino and Riverside counties with additional judges to address their severely backlogged court systems.   

AB 2341 would have provided for a more equitable distribution of judgeships by shifting four vacant judgeships to courts with fewer judges than their assessed need. According to the Judicial Council’s 2014 Judicial Needs Assessment Report, San Bernardino and Riverside counties are at the top of the list of under-resourced counties.   

This Bill was introduced after a number of attempts to fund new judgeships in California were vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown. The Governor has been reluctant to fund new judgeships until action is taken to distribute judge positions based on workload needs.  

In his veto message for SB 229 (Roth) in 2015, which was co-authored by Assemblyman Obernolte and would have appropriated $5 million to fund new judgeships, Governor Brown stated a desire to work with the Judicial Council to develop a more system-wide approach to balance the workload and the distribution of judgeships around the state, before funding any new positions.  

Assemblyman Jay Obernolte represents the 33rd Assembly District, which includes the San Bernardino County communities of Adelanto, Apple Valley, Baker, Barstow, Big Bear City, Big Bear Lake, Big River, Crestline, Fort Irwin, Hesperia, Johnson Valley, Lake Arrowhead, Lenwood, Lucerne Valley, Needles, Oak Hills, Phelan, Running Springs, Silver Lakes, Trona, Twentynine Palms Base, Twin Peaks and Victorville.