Blue Ribbon Committee to review Kansas courts
The Chief Justice of the Kansas Supreme Court appoints a 24-member "Blue Ribbon Commission" to review state court operations and structure.

Justice officials say the commission will help the Supreme Court in finding ways to improve court services in Kansas.

A weighted caseload study began in August. It will measure the time and personnel required to process cases. The commission will also consider issues like court locations, services provided by each locations, when they operate, use of technology and costs of operations.

Officials say, when the commission has finished its work, it will submit a report to the Supreme Court. The report is expected to have recommendations for actions that the court can take, and possibly actions that make take legislative or voter approval.

Last Spring, state courts were forced to furloughs because of state budget constraints. Officials say this was a first in Kansas courts' nearly 150 year history.

Kansas courts handled around 500,000 cases between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010. Kansas has around 266 judges and around 1,590 non-judicial positions for state courts.

Members named to the Blue Ribbon Committee:
  1. Court of Appeals Judge Patrick McAnany, Chair, Topeka
  2. Wyandotte County District Judge Constance Alvey, Kansas City
  3. Bob Boaldin, of Epic Touch communications company, Elkhart 
  4. Barton County Counselor/Administrator Richard A. Boeckman, Great Bend
  5. Wabaunsee County District Magistrate Judge Blaine A. Carter, Alma
  6. 12th Judicial District Chief Judge Kim W. Cudney, Washington 
  7. Graham County Clerk of the District Court Donna L. Elliott, Hill City. 
  8. Trego County District Magistrate Judge Richard Flax, Wakeeney 
  9. Kansas Corporation Commissioner Joseph F. Harkins, Topeka
  10. Karen H. Hester, University of Kansas School of Law, Lawrence
  11. Martha Hodgesmith, University of Kansas Associate Director for Disability Policy, Lawrence 
  12. State Sen. Jeffrey R. King, Independence
  13. Susan Lynn, editor and publisher of The Iola Register, Iola
  14. Doris Miller, Co-Owner of Rocking M Radio, Manhattan
  15. Mike Padilla, Kansas Department of Revenue, Topeka
  16. Linda Parks, Attorney and Managing Partner, Hite, Fanning & Honeyman, Wichita
  17. Reginald Robinson, Washburn University School of Law Professor, Topeka 
  18. Gerald O. Schultz, Attorney, Garden City
  19. Sam H. Sheldon, Haley Title Company attorney and owner, Ottawa
  20. State Sen. John Vratil, Overland Park
  21. Finney County Attorney John P. Wheeler, Jr., Garden City
  22. Calvin Williams, Attorney, Colby
  23. Sam Williams, managing partner/CPA, Sullivan Higdon & Sink, Wichita
  24. Riley County District Judge Meryl D. Wilson, Manhattan.