Judicial salary increases advanced

Nebraska judges would receive a raise under a bill advanced from general file May 8.

<a href='http://news.legislature.ne.gov/dist12' target='_blank' title='Link to the website of Sen. Steve Lathrop'>Sen. Steve Lathrop</a>
Sen. Steve Lathrop

LB300, sponsored by Omaha Sen. Steve Lathrop, would increase Nebraska Supreme Court judges’ salaries for fiscal year 2019-20 and FY2020-21. The current salary is $173,693.

District, county, juvenile, appellate and workers’ compensation court judges’ salaries statutorily are based on a percentage of the Supreme Court judges’ salaries, Lathrop said, so those judges also would receive a salary increase.

“It is absolutely essential that we pay our judges sufficiently to ensure a well-functioning judiciary,” he said. “It is vital we retain experienced judges on the bench.”

An amendment offered by Lathrop, adopted 30-1, would set the salary increase at 3 percent each fiscal year, totaling $181,588 in FY2019-20 and $187,036 in FY2020-21.

Elmwood Sen. Robert Clements supported the proposal.

“I do believe the 3 percent [increase] is above what other state employees are getting, but it’s trying to catch up from lower increases from the previous two years,” he said.

The bill was advanced to select file on a 37-1 vote.

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