A bill that would double the pay for people who show up for jury selection and are chosen to serve passed out of the Indiana Senate on Monday.
Under House Bill 1466, Hoosiers who appear for jury duty would receive $30 per day. Those selected to serve would earn $80 per day for the first five days of trial, then $90 per day after that.
To help offset the cost of the pay increase, the bill would increase the jury fee paid by defendants from $2 to $6, and would create a new $75 jury fee for people filing civil tort or plenary actions.
Proponents of the bill hope better pay would increase jury turnout and lead to getting more attentive jurors.
The bill passed 45-1 out of the Senate. Sen. Michael Young, R-Indianapolis, was the lone no vote.
The bill was amended in the Senate to alter language about what constitutes “good causes for challenge” to a potential juror in a criminal trial. Instead of one cause being that a person “is biased or prejudiced” for or against the defendant, it would say the person “has a fixed opinion.”
The bill now goes back to the House of Representative to consider the amended version. The House passed HB 1466 with a 94-0 vote in February.