New measures aimed at keeping judges on the bench longer by increasing the mandatory retirement age were approved by an Assembly committee Monday.

Under the measures, the retirement age for most judges would change from 70 to 75. The retirement age on the state Supreme Court would remain 70.

Along with keeping experienced people on the bench, the measures would slow the rise in judicial vacancies, proponents of the changes said.

In Bergen County, the presiding judge has decided to suspend some lengthy civil trials because there are nine vacancies out of 36 total spots on the bench.

“There is absolutely no reason, particularly as we have these significant backlogs in Bergen County, not to allow people who are competent, who have the knowledge and want to continue participating, to participate,” said Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi, R-River Vale.

Any increase in the judicial retirement age requires a change to the state constitution, which would have to be approved by voters.

On Monday, the committee released three bills concerning how long judges can serve on the bench and one resolution that would call for a constitutional amendment.

The Assembly Judiciary Committee approved the measures on unanimous 5-0 votes, and they now head to the full Assembly..