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Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Says Court Staff Need Raises

Stephen Koranda
Chief Justice Lawton Nuss speaking to lawmakers Wednesday during his State of the Judiciary address.

The chief justice of the Kansas Supreme Court made a pitch for more court funding during Wednesday's State of the Judiciary address before a joint session of the Legislature.

Justice Lawton Nuss says they've been losing staff and have trouble recruiting new workers and judges because of low pay. Nuss is asking lawmakers for $40 million over two years for raises and other costs.

“I do have a concern that if this trend continues, our ability to provide justice to Kansans will suffer,” Nuss said Wednesday.

The top budget writer in the House, Republican Rep. Troy Waymaster, says other state employees also haven’t had a pay increase for several years. He says lawmakers are facing deficits for the coming two years so money is very tight.

“It’s going to be a tough sell, as are any enhancements that we’re going to be looking at when we look at the mega bill for ‘18 and ‘19 next week,” Waymaster says.