JUDICIAL SALARY INCREASE SUBMITTED TO LEGISLATURE
The judiciary's legislative Proposal to adjust judicial compensation was submitted in March, in keeping with Chief Judge Kaye's promise in her State of the Judiciary address to seek a pay increase this year. There has been no increase in over six years.
The Judiciary's proposal seeks an immediate increase as well as a mechanism for regular future adjustments. Under the proposal, Supreme Court Justices would receive an increase effective April 1, 2005, restoring them to parity with federal District Court Judges (at $162,100); other judges would receive increases of between 14 and 34 percent; and an annual procedure would ensure future increases maintaining parity between Supreme Court and federal District Court salaries, along with automatic adjustments for other state judges. The proposal addresses the issue of pay disparity - including disparity among judges of the same court - by reducing the extent of the disparity and creating a commission to review remaining disparities every two years.
The bill was introduced in both chambers of the Legislature, by the respective Chairs of the Judiciary Committees, Senator John A. DeFrancisco and Assemblywoman Helene E. Weinstein, and was reported out of both committees. Legislators also received a report from Judge Kaye, Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman and the Presiding Justices of the four Judicial Departments on the history of past increases and pay disparities.
State judges have received two pay increases in the past 18 years and were last in parity with federal judges in 1999. Federal judges have received six salary increases since that year. Since May, many judges have traveled to Albany to meet with legislators on this issue, advocating for fair and equitable compensation. On June 3, Gov. George E. Pataki submitted his own proposal to raise judicial salaries. The governor's bill provides an 18.6 percent increase for trial judges, bringing Supreme Court salaries to $162,100, and varying increases for appellate judges.
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