FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky’s Chief Justice says he will ask state lawmakers to give judges raises of 10 percent over the next two years to bring their salary more in line with the national average.

Kentucky Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. told lawmakers salaries for Kentucky’s judges rank 49th out of 50 states. State courts Budget Director Carole Henderson said the raises would increase the state’s ranking to 39th.

Minton’s comments were part of his annual State of the Judiciary speech given to lawmakers on the Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary. Minton also urged lawmakers to redistribute the number of judges throughout the state to address unequal caseloads.

Lawmakers did not commit to the raises. State economists predict Kentucky is headed toward a $155 million shortfall this year.