Friday, September 28, 2007

Black-robe blues: less green next payday

As the politicians bicker, posture and finally begin to wheel-and-deal in the 11th hour to solve Michigan's lack-of-budget problem, the state's 621 judges can look forward to lighter paychecks next week.

It works like this: without a budget in place by Monday, Oct. 1, the state legally can't spend any money. Payroll deadline was Wednesday, Sept. 26. The judges' checks are for two weeks of work and include pay for work done through the end of payday. The next time the eagle flies for the judges is Thursday, Oct. 4.

In a decision that any reviewing jurist would undoubtedly find legally impeccable but perhaps personally distasteful, the state determined that the only way to stay within payroll policy and the law was to not pay the judges for work done Oct. 1 through the end of the current pay period.

Their checks will be about $2,000 short, on average, according to a report in the Grand Rapids Press.

There will be a make-good after a new budget is in place.

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