Kansas chief justice pitches lawmakers on court pay hikes

(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton Nuss is trying to persuade legislators to increase salaries for judges and pay for judicial branch employees.

Nuss devoted much of his annual State of the Judiciary address Wednesday to what he described as the serious need to increase pay within the court system. He spoke to a joint session of the Legislature.

The Supreme Court is seeking to increase the court system’s annual budget by about $22 million, or about 16 percent.

Nuss told lawmakers that all judicial branch jobs pay below market rates, and some fall short by as much as 22 percent. He said nearly one-third of the court system’s employees work outside jobs to make ends meet.

But some legislators see the spending increase as a tough sell.

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