Supreme Court agrees to salary freeze

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Vermont’s Supreme Court has agreed to a salary freeze similar to the one applied to executive-branch employees of state government.

But Chief Justice Paul Reiber told lawmakers that the judicial branch does not have as much flexibility as the executive branch to absorb budget cuts because it’s required to keep courts open.

This week legislators and the Douglas administration are reviewing spending cuts to help deal with a $40 million revenue shortfall for next year.

In a budget cutting move, Administration Secretary Michael Smith has ordered a pay freeze for more than 350 executive-branch employees who earn more than $60,000.

The justices want the freeze implemented for one year and the following year staff would get two-years’ worth of increases.

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