A Louisiana House committee advanced legislation Tuesday that would allow judges and sheriffs to get pay raises.

Senate Bill 188 calls for raises ranging from 3.7 percent to 5.5 percent. Judges and sheriffs would have to pay for the raises out of their budgets.

“It’s never a popular time to give pay raises to government employees. On the other hand, I think it’s important to our judicial system to have quality judges,” state Sen. Danny Martiny told the House Appropriations Committee.

Martiny, R-Metairie, sponsored SB188.

State Rep. John Schroder, R-Covington, warned that he did not want to vote in favor of the raises and then hear testimony next year that judges need an increase in their budget.

“I don’t want to hear testimony that the sky is falling,” he said.

State Rep. Ledricka Thierry, D-Opelousas, added the language that would allow sheriffs to get raises.

The committee voted, without objection, to send SB188 to the House floor.