Effective January 26, 2010, the number of Magistrates will be reduced to 17. The Workers Disability Compensation Act calls for a total number of Magistrates of 30. However, that number was reduced to 26 by executive order of the Governor back in 2003.
The purpose of the order is that, "productivity and caseload justify a further reduction in the number of members of the Workers Compensation Board of Magistrates, which will contribute to a smaller and more efficient state government."
The announcement came via Executive Order promulgated on October 29, 2009.
It is assumed at this point that the Governor will attain this goal through attrition.
There was a rumor that a number of hearing sites were to be closed, but that nothing further has developed along those lines.