Legislation to abolish two juvenile court judgeships in Orleans Parish advanced from the Louisiana House Wednesday.
The House voted 71-17 in favor of House Bill 607 despite complaints by one New Orleans legislator that the proposal is premature.
HB607’s sponsor, state Rep. Helena Moreno, said the number of juvenile court judges would shrink from six to four. She said the court still can do a “great, adequate job with fewer judges.”
Moreno, D-New Orleans, said annual savings would be $827,000 for the city and $410,000 for the state.
Studies concluded that the juvenile court has too many judges in the wake of New Orleans’ population decline following Hurricane Katrina. Another study will take a new look at the issue.
State Rep. Jeff Arnold, whose uncle is a soon-to-retire Orleans Parish juvenile court judge, said legislators should wait for the new study before taking action.
“This bill is premature. This bill can be filed next year,” said Arnold, D-New Orleans.
The bill now moves to the state Senate.