NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A New Orleans-based government watchdog group says the city could save $14 million a year by reducing the number of judges in the local court system from 45 to about 20.

The report was issued Tuesday by the Bureau of Governmental Research.

A report by a state committee on Louisiana's 97 district and city courts is due in February. But BGR president Janet Howard said fast action is needed in New Orleans to reduce the number of judges before next year's judicial elections.

Orleans Civil District Court Judge Kern Reese said in an interview in The Advocate that reducing the number of judges to the extent suggested in the report could lengthen complicated cases by years.

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