Iowa Judicial Branch Newsletter
May 24, 2018
Lady Justice
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     Thank You

"Thank You" 

A Message from the Chief Justice 


A little more than a year ago, on January 16, 2013, I delivered the 2013 State of the Judiciary Address to the governor and the legislature. In that speech, I described a clear vision for the Iowa Judicial Branch and explained our six guiding priorities. The legislators and the governor responded to the speech by authorizing a 3.5 percent increase in our budget appropriation. When I returned to the House Chambers to deliver this year's 2014 State of the Judiciary, I was extremely proud to report back on the progress that judicial branch employees had made during the previous 12 months on each of the six priorities. 


I began this year's State of the Judiciary Address with two important words: "Thank you." I wanted the legislature and Governor Branstad to know how much the judicial branch appreciated their support and cooperation throughout the past year.  


I want to take this opportunity in my first column in the revived Judicial Branch Newsletter to thank each of you for all of the work you have done during the past five years. It has been a very difficult time, but it was because of your efforts that I could report our successes in my speech. I want to specifically thank you for two major achievements: first, for continuing to provide excellent service to your state during the past five years while our funding and staffing levels decreased; and second, for taking the opportunity with our increased appropriation this year to strive to meet our goal of being the best court system in the nation.   


The six priorities of the judicial branch, shaped from what Iowans have told the supreme court that they expect and need from their court system, are: 

      Protecting Iowa's children;  

      Providing full-time access to justice;  

      Operating an efficient, full-service court system;  

      Providing faster and less costly resolution of legal disputes;  

      Being open and transparent; and  

      Providing fair and impartial justice for all 


To achieve our priorities and meet our goal of being the best court system in the nation will take the effort of every single judicial branch employee. We have taken the first steps by working together to prove once again that we are good stewards of Iowa taxpayers' money, and I know we will continue to reach even greater heights this year. I am very proud of what we have accomplished together and know we can achieve our goal of being the best judicial system in the nation. 



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