A proposed salary increase for Nebraska judges has won first-round approval from lawmakers.
The bill that advanced Wednesday would give the Nebraska Supreme Court chief justice and its judges a 5 percent increase, starting on July 1. The judges would receive another 5 percent increase in July 2014.
Members of the state Supreme Court currently make $145,615 per year. The bill would also apply to lower-court judges, whose salaries are tied to what the Supreme Court judges earn.
Lawmakers voted 26-2 to in favor of the proposal. Supporters argued that the increase is needed to help recruit and retain quality judges in Nebraska. Some opponents said they viewed the raise as unaffordable.