Judges in the State of New York have not received a salary increase since 1998. When they received this salary increase in 1998 it was the first salary increase they had received in 20 years.
Judges in New York tirelessly work to provide citizens fair and impartial justice often under difficult conditions. Judges should not be treated as second class citizens.
The State Legislature in New York needs to pass a law raising the salaries of judges. The problem is State the Legislature is concerned how voters will react to their taking this action.
Judges have been forced to bring a lawsuit to deal with the issue of their salary increases. Recently the New York Court Of Appeals, the highest court in the state of New York, ruled that the state legislature violated the New York State Constitution by tying raises for judges to unrelated matters. The court stated that judges raises should be considered on the basis of merit and free from political consideration. However it is still up to the State Legislature to pass a law authorizing the salary increases for judges. Unfortunately, due to the economic circumstances that the state of New York finds itself in, it is unlikely this will happen in the near future.
It is extremely difficult to attract the most highly qualified men and women to the bench in the State of New York when they are so poorly compensated for their hard work and diligent efforts.