SANTA FE, N.M. — An independent panel of legal experts is considering the salaries of New Mexico’s judges in hopes of making recommendations to lawmakers and state finance officials for an increase in the 2019 fiscal year.

The six-member Judicial Compensation Commission is meeting Wednesday in Santa Fe.

A survey by the National Center for State Courts shows the annual salary for a district judge in New Mexico ranks lowest in the nation. Pay for a state Supreme Court justice ranks next to last. Only justices in Maine earn less.

The salaries of New Mexico judges have remained unchanged since 2014 when a 5 percent increase was enacted.

The commission in 2016 had recommended a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment and a 5 percent base salary increase, arguing that improved salaries were needed to recruit experienced attorneys for judgeships.