Missouri Chief Justice calls for overtime pay for court clerks during Justice Department speech

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s chief justice is asking the General Assembly to fund overtime pay for court employees.

In his annual State of Justice address, Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court Paul Wilson said court employees work long hours to meet the obligation to eliminate nonviolent marijuana crimes after voters approve recreational marijuana.

“They understand the importance of their work but take pride in what they do,” Wilson said. “Just won’t fill the tank or pay for childcare and certainly won’t buy groceries.”

Under Amendment 3, counties have until June to clear marijuana offenses and December for felony counts.

“We are asking you to fund the overtime that court employees are already working to meet the unprecedented obligations imposed by the passage of Amendment 3 last fall,” Wilson said.

In addition to overtime, Wilson is also demanding a pay rise for 3,000 court employees and money to increase mental health resources.

“Too often we are faced with individuals who have such serious mental illnesses that they are not even fit to stand trial,” he said.

As in last year’s speech, he is again urging lawmakers to pass legislation to protect the state’s judges.

“Violence and threats of violence against judges and their families are increasing every day,” Wilson said.

He asked the General Assembly for support in promoting trust in state courts.

“If you’re going to tell your constituents that we were wrong, you have a right, but if you do, take a minute to explain,” Wilson said. “Even if you think we’ve done something wrong, know that judges are just officials like you, doing their best to rule cases based on the facts and their best understanding of the law. I ask for your help in preserving and promoting people’s trust in the rule of law and their judicial system. I doubt you’ll agree with every decision the seven of us make, let alone the hundreds of thousands of decisions made by trial judges in this state each year.

Wilson’s final plea Wednesday morning was timely and shared by many Missourians as Super Sunday loomed.

“May God continue to bless the great state of Missouri, and of course may God bless Patrick Mahome’s right ankle,” he said.

Wilson also announced that two Missouri Supreme Court justices will retire this year, as the state constitution requires retirement by the age of 70.

https://fox2now.com/news/missouri/missouri-chief-justice-urges-overtime-pay-for-court-clerks-during-state-of-judiciary-speech/ Missouri Chief Justice calls for overtime pay for court clerks during Justice Department speech

Sarah Y. Kim

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