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Despite crunch, courts stress equal status

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - The balancing act continued today, and appearing before lawmakers today were representatives from the Guam Judiciary.  Despite implementing numerous cost-cutting measures and working on a severely reduced budget for the last few fiscal years, the island's court systems today asked lawmakers to remember that the courts are supposed to be a co-equal branch of the government.

Administrator of the Courts Perry Taitano says the Judiciary has struggled with lagging allotments and continue to operate underfunded.  "The Judiciary must be treated as a co-equal branch of government. The law requires it," Taitano noted. "The significant beneficial services received by local and federal criminal justice agencies and the community which by executive line agencies default we successfully undertook and provide beyond our core mission, demands that we be respected as a third co-equal branch of government."

Taitano added that the Judiciary is not asking for more than what is needed, but rather what it needs to survive and sustain operations and proven programs that serve the community.

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