Committee cuts judicial pay raise to $20K; Strong support for term limits for legislators, more education funding, $15 minimum wage

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The chamber of the Maryland House of Delegates. Governor's Office photo

All 313 Maryland judges would get a $20,000 pay raise — $5,000 for each of the next four years, the House Appropriations Committee is recommending. The committee cut $15,000 from the raises proposed by the Judicial Compensation Commission.

The committee action would bring the salaries of 173 circuit court judges up to $174,433 and the pay for 117 district court judges, the lowest paid of the jurists, up to $161,333. This represents a 13% hike compared to current pay for circuit court judges and 14% for district court judges.

The chief judge would get $215,433 beginning July 1, 2021, when the final pay hike kicks in.

The Appropriations Committee voted for the pay hikes Friday 20-4, with four Republican delegates opposing the move and three Republicans voting in favor, along with all the Democrats voting.

The General Assembly has until March 15 to reduce or reject the recommendations of the commission, or they go into effect automatically.

The House is scheduled to take up amendments to the proposal Wednesday.

Goucher poll: Term limits, school funding, $15 minimum wage

Three-quarters of Marylanders (75%) support term limits for state legislators, and a majority (56%) support the two-term, 8-year limit proposed by Gov. Larry Hogan, according to part 2 of a Goucher College poll taken last week. Click here for the full results of the poll.

On state spending on education, 71% said the state spends too little, 19% said it was about the right amount and only 8% said it was too much.

Asked about the minimum wage, 61% of the 800 adult respondents to the poll said they supported a $15-an-hour minimum. Three-quarters of those polled were contacted by cell phone.