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Jurors in some Lake County cases won't get free lunches while serving because budget cuts have forced judges to halt a practice of using public money to feed them.

The changes affect Lake Superior Civil Division Courts but not jurors serving in the better-funded Lake Circuit and Lake Criminal Courts.

Chief Superior Court Judge John Pera said he is frustrated and embarrassed by the move to end lunch payments, a change that is the result of 30 percent spending cuts over the last two years. The civil courts already are at a disadvantage with other courts that receive revenue from tax and user fees that aren't shared, The Times in Munster reported.

"We struggled long and hard over every penny in our budget to see where we can cut and still provide the same level of service the public expects," Pera said.

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