Chris Daniel has a great idea (Chron.com) for broadening the jury pool:
[T]here are ways for government, without being intrusive, to provide businesses with incentives to pay workers absent because of jury service. Lawmakers will consider passing House Bill 433, which would allow employers to claim a 15 percent discount when calculating their state margins taxes if they pay workers who are out for jury service.
Employers don’t have to pay their employees for time spent serving on juries. HB 433 would reward employers that do by reducing their taxes. In essence Daniel has found a way to boost juror pay for those who need it without giving a raise to jurors who are at more leisure to skip work.
Consider again the problem of the working poor. Working-poor defendants who can’t afford not to make bail but can’t afford to hire competent counsel are the same as those jurors who can’t afford to take an unpaid day off work. HB 433 would give those folks a better chance of having a jury of their peers.