After 13 years of debate, discussion, lawsuits and acrimony, it appears New York’s judges will finally get a raise. According to published reports, the money for judicial pay raises, some $27.7 million, is in the NYS budget and will remain intact. The Lawsuit Reform Alliance applauds this victory and supports reasonable judicial salaries for the New York State court system.
New York State judges have not had a salary increase or cost of living adjustment since 1999. Since this raise, the Consumer Price Index has increased by 41% and other state employees were given raises totaling 44%. Of all 50 states, New York’s judges have gone the longest without any salary adjustment. All other states have had an increase of about 3.2% annually totaling 24% since 1999 (1).
Judges in New York are required to be lawyers and in most cases have practiced law in New York for at least 10 years prior to appointment. Our judges have strong opportunities in the private sector and they need to be fairly compensated for the work that they perform on behalf of the state. The judges in our system are talented and experienced judges whose compensation must be kept fair and current to ensure their retention.
LRANY supports the review of judicial salaries and supports fair compensation for judges dedicated service to New York.