Senate panel OKs judge reduction _lowres

Advocate Photo by MICHELLE MILLHOLLON -- New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, right, was in Baton Rouge to testify Tuesday in favor of legislation that would reduce the number of juvenile judges serving Orleans Parish. He took a moment to visit with Senate President John Alario, center, and state Sens. Francis Thompson, D-Delhi, left, and Gregory Tarver, D-Shreveport.

A state Senate committee Tuesday advanced legislation Tuesday that would abolish a section of the Orleans Parish Juvenile Court by the end of the year and would soon eliminate another judgeship.

The Senate Judiciary A committee approved Senate Bill 445 with the only no vote coming from the only state senator from New Orleans on the panel, state Sen. Ed Murray, a Democrat.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu testified in favor of SB445, which was sponsored by state Sen. A.G. Crowe, R-Slidell.

Section D of the Orleans Parish Juvenile Court would be abolished on Dec. 31, 2015, with the funding from the city of New Orleans being allocated for juvenile services within the city. The second judgeship would be eliminated the day after the death, resignation, retirement or removal from office.

According the Louisiana Supreme Court Judicial Administrator’s Office calculated the annual cost for a juvenile court judge at $229,000.

SB445 now goes to the full Senate for debate.