Kansas Chief Justice Nuss Lauds Passage Of Pay Bill

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Kansas Chief Justice Lawton Nuss is thanking legislators for passage of a pay increase for certain non-judicial employees, hoping that the deal leads to resolution of other funding needs.

Nuss says Wednesday during his annual State of the Judiciary address that a measure passed earlier in the day by the House would provide some salary increase for certain employees. But he cautions that the measure doesn't address a projected $8.25 million shortfall in the judicial branch budget in the next fiscal year.

Nuss reiterated that without an additional appropriation, some court employees could be sent home without pay, forcing the court offices to close statewide.

Employee costs account for 96 percent of the judicial budget, including judges and clerical staff. The courts were closed temporarily in 2010 and 2012.