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Lawmaker seeks to block judicial pay raises

A Missouri lawmaker is seeking to block a recommended pay raise for judges.

A special commission recommended the salaries of Missouri judges should be raised to be closer to those of their federal counterparts beginning in the 2013 budget year. By law, that recommendation automatically takes effect unless rejected by two-thirds of the House and Senate by Feb. 1.

Republican Sen. Jim Lembke, of St. Louis, filed a resolution Thursday that would block the pay raise. He says the state’s budget troubles make it a bad time to grant raises.

Judges have argued for several years that higher salaries are needed to persuade qualified people to serve as judges instead of working as private-sector attorneys where they might earn more money.

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