SALINAS, Calif. -

California's budget cuts have taken a major toll on state courts, the state's top judicial officers say.

Back in 2008 and 2009, the Monterey County Superior Court employed 216 people - that number is currently down to 180. The workload, however, hasn't decreased.

Presiding Judge Marla Anderson says its our constitutional right to access the courts, but because of budget cuts and no matter how hard staff works, not everyone is getting access to the justice they deserve. 

In Monterey County, for instance, the self-help center's hours have been severely reduced and the court in King City was closed to save money. South County residents now have to travel 50 to 60 miles to reach the courthouses in Salinas and Monterey.

The state's Trial Budget Advisory Committee is holding a teleconference Thursday afternoon to discuss ongoing budget issues plaguing the state's courts. The focus will be on court interpreter funding and proposed revisions to a number of information technology project allocations. The meeting is open to the public via conference call. The meeting will also be audiocast live. More information is available here.

More information about how the state's trial courts have been impacted by the budget crunch can be found here.