Some Michigan judges could see a boost in future paychecks, under a bill that cleared the state Legislature this week.
Right now, pay for lower-court judges is tied to state Supreme Court justices' salaries, which haven't gone up in years.
The bill's sponsor, Senator Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, said it's impossible in today's political climate to raise Supreme Court justices' pay.
"Therefore, your local judges have not had a raise in 15 years," Jones said. "It's gotten to the point where many attorneys don't want to run for judge, because they would have to take quite a pay cut."
The legislation would instead tie judicial raises to non-union state workers, such as administrators. It won't affect Supreme Court justices' salaries.
Jones said the measure removes political jockeying from the process.
"State representatives, state senators, the governor, supreme court justices, the attorney general certainly, for political reasons, don't want a pay raise. Tying other employees to our income doesn't work very well," Jones said.
The bill passed the state House on Tuesday before clearing the Senate on Wednesday.
It now heads to Gov. Rick Snyder's desk.