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Kentucky’s judicial branch is set to begin a study that will examine the balance of caseloads throughout the state.

Speaking to reporters Friday after his annual “State of the Judiciary” address to lawmakers, Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John Minton Jr., said many people hold a perception that some parts of the state have too few judges, while other regions have too many.

“And rolled up in that is the continuing concern in Daviess County of the need for family court, Daviess County being the largest jurisdiction in the state without family court,” he said.

Seventy-one of Kentucky’s 120 counties have family courts. In counties that don’t—such as Daviess—circuit judges are tasked with hearing cases regarding adoption, paternity and domestic violence.

The Kentucky Supreme Court in 2012 certified the need for two family court positions in Daviess County, but budget constraints have delayed any action.

Minton said the Kentucky judiciary is partnering with the National Center for State Courts to design the caseload study that will begin in October, with Minton delivering the results to lawmakers in January 2016.

Minton: Pay for Kentucky Judges Lags Behind Rest of Nation

Minton also addressed lawmakers Friday about his concerns the state is falling behind in the area of judicial compensation.

According to Minton, Kentucky judges earn 17.5 percent less than the national average. It’s a theme he has hit upon in previous speeches to lawmakers.

Minton said he’s worried about the impact judicial salaries will have on lawyers who are considering careers on the bench.

“Plus, the reduction in the value of pension benefits all would work together to have a long-term deleterious effect on the quality of folks who are willing to sacrifice to take the job,” he said.

In his address, Minton also said budget cuts and changes to the state’s criminal sentencing laws have led to fewer people choosing to use Kentucky’s drug court treatment program.

He said if lawmakers would offer drug court graduates a well-structured expungement process, it might encourage greater participation in the program.