- Associated Press - Friday, May 13, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona’s top judge is urging Gov. Doug Ducey to veto legislation adding two justices to the state Supreme Court.

Chief Justice Scott Bales says in a letter to Ducey that the court’s caseload doesn’t merit expansion, especially when the Legislature has underfunded other court priorities.

The Republican-controlled Legislature approved the $1 million-per-year expansion in the just-ended session. It awaits Ducey’s signature or veto.

The state budget Ducey signed this week ties pay increases for judges and probation department funding to the expansion.

Bales and the other four justices opposed Republican Rep. J.D. Mesnard’s expansion plan. But Bales agreed to it if the Legislature added $10 million in funding that included raises for judges statewide. Instead, lawmakers added a much smaller amount.

Ducey would appoint the new members.

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