For the first time in 28 years, pay for federal jurors has increased, but it still remains below the federal minimum wage.
The change was included in the $1.3 trillion federal spending bill that passed March 23, The Washington Post reports.
The pay increase comes at the urging of South Carolina Republican Trey Gowdy, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-District of Columbia, and Congressman Jamie Raskin, D-Maryland.
A press release issued by Norton said that the trio called for the federal government to raise the pay for people serving on federal juries from $40 a day to $50.
The trio wrote a letter to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services & General Government asking for the increase.
“While juror compensation was never meant to serve as a substitute for a salary and obviously does not, raising the daily rate of juror compensation to $50 per day would provide some small relief for the sacrifices made by jurors,” the letter said.
In addition to the increase in starting pay, the spending bill also makes it so that jurors who serve extended periods on petit or grand juries are eligible to receive an additional $10 a day. This would increase jurors pay to close to the minimum wage of $58 a day, but only after extended periods of jury duty.
“This is but a small step in providing reasonable compensation to the people serving this indispensable role in our judicial system,” the letter said.
Eleven other members of Congress also signed the letter.