Jury Duty May Finally Pay Off!
About 5 years ago, I got called for jury duty. Naturally, like most folks, I did a little bit of swearing, and a lot of complaining to anyone who would listen. I get it. It should be considered a privilege, and your civic duty. And I did it. I didn't try to dodge it. And, to be fair, the case I sat through was fairly interesting.
But I tell you.... When the "check" came in the mail, I almost framed it instead of cashing it. Back then, it was $11 a day to serve on a jury. That included my mileage. So for the approximate 24 hours that I was involved in the process, it paid out just about 49 cents an hour. But hey, I opted to just go ahead and throw that teenie-tiny check in the bank, and laugh at it as it cleared.
Well, there is some legislature headed before the state government, that could see jurors getting a raise that could hit $50 a day. A DAY! That would totally make me want to show up. The fact is, juror truancy is a real issue, and most folks cite the problem to be an extreme lack of pay, bordering on hardship.
According to Maine Public, so far 8 of 11 committee members have chosen to adopt the $50 per diem, with two yet to vote. It would increase the state's budget for jury duty payouts from $500,000 a year to $1 million.
But, to ensure Mainers get a fair, speedy trial, by a jury of their peers, as guaranteed by our nation's fine Constitution, then it's not an amount of money that anyone at the state level should balk at. So, see you in the jury box. We can hi-five, and I'll pick up the lunch tab!