NYCLA is pleased to see that New York State’s Commission on Legislative, Judicial and Executive Compensation has voted unanimously to recommend a 10.3% salary increase for our States judiciary, effective April 1, 2024, the start of the State’s next fiscal year. This is the first raise our State’s judges and justice have received since 2019, during a period of significant inflation. NYCLA President Adrienne B. Koch testified in favor of this increase at a hearing of the Commission held on October 13.
“We are pleased to see that this recommendation adopts our position, equalizing what elected Supreme Court Justices will make with federal district judges,” said Ms. Koch today. All other state court judges will have their pay adjusted as well, commensurate with the recommendation. “This recommendation by the Commission is a concrete statement about the value we place on our judiciary and its independence and ability to do its job,” said Ms. Koch. “The State’s judiciary has too often gone for long stretches without raises, with their incomes being eroded in the meantime by inflation with consequent effects on judicial morale,” she concluded.
Unless the State Legislature passes a bill to reject the Commission’s recommendation it will become effective automatically.
We must close with a note of caution. While this recommendation is welcome and will equalize elected Supreme Court justices with federal district judges, which was our own recommendation and goal in supporting the State judiciary in our testimony before the Commission, that equalization will be short-lived. Federal district judges will get their own raises next year, and the Commission’s recommendation only includes one further salary increase for State judges and justices, 2% in April 2026. Thus, the State’s judiciary will almost immediately fall behind our benchmark again, with no foreseeable immediate adjusting correction. That approach itself may require further correction. Even the current 10.3% recommended increase is less than inflation since the last judicial raise in pay. We certainly do not want to go back to the days when the State’s judiciary was given no raises whatsoever for periods that lasted up to a decade or more at a time. At the moment, however, we are pleased to be able to acknowledge this anticipated increase and we commend the Commission and its chair Hon. Eugene Fahey for making this recommendation.
About the New York County Lawyers Association
The New York County Lawyers Association (www.nycla.org) was founded in 1908 as one of the first major bar associations in the country that admitted members without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, or gender. Since its inception, it has pioneered some of the most far-reaching and tangible reforms in American jurisprudence and has continuously played an active role in legal developments and public policy.
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