Last Thursday, Gov. Jon Huntsman announced an initiative extending state government service hours Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. beginning the first week of August.
State administrative offices will be closed on Fridays, but essential public services will remain open that currently operate on extended hours and during weekends.
"As we go forward with this initiative, we will conserve energy, save money, improve our air quality and enhance customer service," said Huntsman. "We live in a dynamic, ever-changing environment and it's crucial that we take a serious look at how we can adapt and maintain our state's unparalleled quality of life."
The initiative will be critically evaluated following a one-year period to allow for necessary adjustments in the future. The next month will allow state agencies to plan and prepare for the transition.
In conjunction with the initiative, the administrative office of the courts announced that Utah state courts will remain open on Fridays for business.
The state system includes juvenile, district, appellate and the Utah Supreme Court.
Justice courts throughout the state will also remain open on Friday.
"The state courts are very supportive of Gov. Huntsman's initiative to conserve energy and improve air quality," said Utah court administrator Dan Becker. "Like certain other functions of state government, the courts must remain accessible Monday through Friday to ensure compliance with statutory time frames for required criminal and juvenile proceedings."
Judicial rules require the courts to be open for business Monday through Friday. While the state courts will remain open on Fridays, individual employees with jobs allowing flexible scheduling will be permitted to request a shortened work week.
The state courts will continue to implement policies, procedures and systems that will compliment the governor's energy reduction efforts, noted Decker.