Chief justice supports pay raises, bill to change process

LANSING, MI (AP) – Michigan’s top judge is asking a state panel to recommend judicial pay raises to avert what he calls a crisis that could keep talented lawyers from becoming judges.

But Supreme Court Justice Robert Young says he’s not “naive” to think legislators will approve a “reasonable” raise for lower-level judges if that’s what the State Officers Compensation Committee recommends Wednesday. He wrote a letter to the committee Monday.

Young told The Associated Press Tuesday that judicial pay has stagnated for nearly 15 years.

Lawmakers set Supreme Court justice salaries. Appeal and trial judges’ pay is based on a percentage of justices’ salaries.

To remove the politics, Young is supporting Senate-passed legislation to tie pay hikes for judges – except Supreme Court justices – to cost-of-living increases given to executive branch employees.

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