- Associated Press - Thursday, April 13, 2017

DENVER (AP) - When it passed its version of a fiscal year 2017-18 budget last month, the Senate stripped $2.2 million that would have given judicial employees a 3.1 percent pay hike.

That’s because current law would trigger an equivalent percentage hike for legislators - something they’d like to avoid as the Legislature struggles with tight finances.

The Senate gave initial approval Wednesday to Republican Sen. Bob Gardner’s proposal to sever the judiciary-legislative link. It potentially allows lawmakers to restore judicial pay hikes as they work on next year’s budget.

Under the bill, lawmakers whose terms begin on or after 2019 would be paid $38,000. That’s up from $30,000, which hasn’t changed since 1999.

Judges’ pay now ranges from about $166,000 to $176,000.

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