Published: Aug 10, 2012 2:28 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A Florida legislative panel will decide next week whether to give a budget break to the state's court clerks.
    
The new state budget reduced the budget of court clerks by nearly $30 million. Court clerks responded to the cut by laying off employees, closing branch offices and curtailing office hours.
    
The Joint Legislative Budget Commission on Aug. 16 will vote on whether to give the clerks up to $29.5 million in court fees and fines that could be used to cover the gap.
    
Gov. Rick Scott has already signed off on the proposal because the money would not come from the state's main budget account.
    
County court clerks handle everything from court files, traffic tickets and child support. The budget for the clerks, however, is set by the Florida Legislature.

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