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Solicitor expects budget cuts

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By Chris Sardelli

Sixth Circuit Solicitor Doug Barfield is expecting budget cuts in 2009.

“Like every other government, we have budget cuts,” Barfield said. “It seems like every other week, we’re getting hit with another budget cut.”

Barfield said his office weathered two budget cuts within the fiscal year, and just heard plans for another 7 percent cut to come soon. The bulk of the funding for his office goes to staff salaries, but so far he hasn’t had to lay off any employees.

“We certainly want to keep people working,” he said.

Barfield said he plans to speak with other solicitors from around the state to determine which areas might be affected.

In the meantime, his office is continuing operations as usual.

The office has already scheduled hearings for major cases through the first six months of 2009.

Helping increase efficiency in the solicitor’s office is a new computerized case management system that was brought last month, Barfield said.

“It’s been beneficial and we learn more and more every day,” he said. “We want to keep the caseload moving as much as we can.”

The 6th judicial circuit covers Lancaster, Chester and Fairfield counties.

Contact reporter  Chris Sardelli  at csardelli@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 416-8416