Law enforcement officers in Nevada writing fewer traffic tickets represents “the biggest concern facing the Supreme Court today,” its top judge says.

Nearly three-fifths of the court’s budget is typically derived from tickets, Chief Justice James W. Hardesty said at a state Senate Finance Committee hearing earlier this month.

“When law enforcement is writing ample traffic citations, the budget works fine,” he said. “When they are not, the budget doesn’t work at all.”

The court notified the legislature of the issue in August, when it estimated that the decline in traffic tickets would shave about 3 percent off of expected revenues.

“We now believe, based on the numbers we’re seeing, that that decline will actually be 10 percent,” Hardesty said. “This is a serious problem.”

Indeed, the state has seen a decline of more than 21 percent in citations from 2010 to 2014, notes the Las Vegas Review Journal, which first reported on Hardesty’s testimony. The paper reports that a bill to fund the court’s $700,000 budget shortfall is likely to be introduced within days.

The irony of the fact that a court would rely on revenue drawn from residents breaking laws isn’t lost on Hardesty.

“The court encourages the commission of crime so that we have adequate money to operate,” he noted. “I submit that at some point , maybe the legislature should revisit the manner by which the court is funded and the entire show should be in the state general fund. Just a point.”