February 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

The judicial pay raise bill was called for a third time today to keep it alive until the ultimate deadline around mid-March.  This is a tactic commonly used when the sense is that there are not enough votes to pass.  It gives more time to marshal votes.

My sources suggest that there was plenty of misinformation floated today. There were astronomical figures circulated about how much the bill will cost the counties due to county court, although only 5 counties would be affected.  DHS weighed in against it due to the increase in filing fees, despite the fact that the chancellors can and do assess costs against the defaulting child support payors.

I hope this turns out all right, but I’m not optimistic.  I look at judges like Mason and Bailey who have served the state faithfully and have done a phenomenal job with only a rare reward of a pay increase, and I wonder what the message is that our legislators are trying to send.  The judge is nearly always the lowest paid lawyer in the room, yet they manage to uphold the dignity and authority of the State of Mississippi day in and day out.

I sincerely believe that if the members of the bar will get behind this and push their legislators, it will pass.

One last request:  Please talk to your legislator.  We need the best government we can afford, not the cheapest we can get by with.  I won’t bother you with this any more.

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