Lynchburg, VA - The General Assembly ended its session over the weekend with one important piece not done. Actually, make that two important things not done. The General Assembly failed to fund two judgeships here in Lynchburg soon to open up when a couple judges retire. All this could mean more work for an already busy Lynchburg Courthouse.
Politicians and bureaucrats have to prioritize. Money is put where the need is greater. And that's what happened with our Lynchburg judge posts, says Delegate Scott Garrett, (R) 23rd District.
Del. Garrett broke all this down for us Tuesday. Lynchburg's courthouse is busy, but others are in more dire straits. For example, our circuit court is running at 117% of the statewide average, general district is at 114%. Yes, that's a lot, but outside Central Virginia some judges are working at 140% - far more work than Lynchburg. Either way, Garrett says two fewer judges would be tough on us.
"The attorneys need that consistency. One of the challenges that they have is when they show up on a given day for a civil or a criminal case, and they don't know who the judge is going to be that creates some challenges and some difficulties," said Del. Garrett.
Of course, don't lose hope. There is a chance these two judgeships will get filled. Governor McDonnell can add them in his budget amendments, which is slated to happen April 6.