Substitute bill would add a new judge, rather than transfer a position

This is an archived article that was published on in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Lawmakers opposed to a bill that aimed to move a judge position from northern to southern Utah now have another proposal to consider.

Sen. Stephen Urquhart, R-St. George, has introduced a substitute that would create a new judge position rather than moving a judge from the 2nd District Court to the 5th District Juvenile Court.

Chief Justice Christine M. Durham last month told legislators the move would equalize workloads in the two courts and avoid funding another judgeship in lean budget times. The 5th District covers Beaver, Iron and Washington counties; the 2nd District covers Weber, Morgan and Davis counties.

Critics of the proposed judge shuffle have claimed court data cited as supporting a transfer is outdated and unreliable, but a recent legislative audit called the data the best available measure of workloads and referred to a transfer as "reasonable."