AUGUSTA — Maine Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Leigh Saufley told lawmakers the court system has made improvements on security, technology and consolidation in recent years, but has further to go, during her annual address to the Legislature today.

Saufley also praised Gov. Paul LePage’s budget proposal for the judiciary, saying it would allow vacant positions to get filled and provide resources to improve Maine’s business court system.

“The Maine judicial branch has been substantially underfunded for decades,” she said, during her 10th time addressing lawmakers during the “State of the Judiciary.”

Despite that, progess has been made in improving the way justice is delivered in Maine over the last 10 years, she said.

LePage was in attendance, alongside the entire Legislature.

Saufley told lawmakers that civil cases have been on the rise, while criminal cases have been falling.

She said civil filings have increased 48 percent in the past five years. That number includes a 146 percent surge in mortgage foreclosures and a 56 percent increase in debt collection cases.

At the same time, Saufley said, criminal filings have fallen about 20 percent. She said criminal cases used to make up 50 percent of the court’s non-traffic caseload, but now represent about 44 percent.