A panel of lawmakers in Tallahassee has announced county clerks across the state will have an additional 29.5 million dollars to work with.
County Clerks say this is giving them peace of mind because if not for the funding, many were facing the possibility of laying off hundreds of employees, closing branch offices and cutting office hours.
Bay County Clerk of Courts Bill Kinsaul says locally, no jobs were in jeopardy this year, but this does give him a little more wiggle room. "We had our budget in place with this money which was still the same thing. Just maintaining, not hiring any new positions, just maintaining the status quo until something did change involving the whole economy in the state. So this will just, like I said, get us that little bit of breathing room because it was really going to be cutting it close this year if we hadn't of had that cut."
Kinsaul also says his office will use the extra money for a few updates. "What we are looking at right now, and what is the main push, and has been for years is to really keep pushing towards technology and making the office more efficient. We have a mandate to have electronic filing up in the next year and a half. So all of the technology that goes along with that and really changing our processes of taking in electronic filing on court cases"
Some more good hews is that this budget increase will not be a quick fix or nearsighted solution. "We have had cuts every year for the past four years. And this will really help stabilize. I think that is what they are planning on doing is stabilizing the clerk's budget and the court's budget in the years to come."
Kinsaul says hopefully this is one of many signs that the worst days are behind us.