I swear this year's legislative proposals affecting the judiciary are among the most bone-headed in memory.
Take this doozy:
Republican Sen. J.D. Alexander, the influential budget chairman from Lake Wales, wants to pay trial court judges up to an additional $12,000 a year if they meet specific numerical quarterly performance goals. The extra money would be dished out in $3,000 increments.
“I’m very serious about it,” Alexander said. “What we’re trying to do is create some incentives for the courts that are fair and reasonable and save us a lot of money.”
Alexander’s so-called Judicial Workload Incentive Plan is expected to be part of the proposed Senate budget to be considered next week, but it’s already receiving a mostly hostile reception among senators who directly oversee the judicial branch’s budget.
Despite Alexander’s unmatched clout when it comes to legislative spending, senators aren’t shy about openly lampooning his idea.
“Judges don’t need this,” said Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton. “I think they like to claim they’re professionals. I don’t think they need to be rewarded for managing their dockets.”