Nevada Supreme Court seeks judicial pay raises
December 28, 2018
The Nevada Supreme Court is asking lawmakers to give Nevada's judges their first pay raise in a decade.
AB46, which was requested by the court in September and pre-filed Nov. 16, would add $30,000 a year the base pay received by Supreme Court, Appellate Court and District Court judges statewide.
Because of the vast differences between the wealth of the different counties, those salaries are paid by the state to equalize the salaries of district judges.
However, because the constitution prohibits raising — or lowering — the salaries of elected officials during their term, all current sitting judges would have to wait until they win re-election before they would get the proposed raises.
As written, the bill would raise Supreme Court salaries from $170,000 to $200,000 a year. The base salaries of Appellate Court judges would rise from $165,000 to $195,000 a year and those of District Court judges from $160,000 to $190,000.
Those salaries, however, aren't the total compensation judges get in Nevada. They are also paid for other duties mandated by law or the constitution. That includes their service on the Pardons Board for which they get a maximum of 22 percent more annually depending on how long they've been on the bench. That system is designed to mirror what the state's District Judges receive in longevity pay that kicks in after their fourth year as a judge and adds 2 percent a year up to a cap of 22 percent.
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If approved and signed into law, AB46 would set maximum judicial pay at $244,000 for the Supreme Court, $237,900 for appellate judges and $231,800 for District Judges with 11 years of service on the bench.
The 2007 Legislature approved the last judicial pay raises. They took effect in January 2009.
There are currently seven seats on the Supreme Court and three on the Intermediate Appellate Court. There are currently 82 district judges for a total of 92 state-funded judicial posts. That would put the total annual cost of the $30,000 pay raises at $2.76 million. The incremental increase in longevity pay would be on top of that amount.
Once the Legislature convenes, AB46 will be reviewed by both the Judiciary committees and the money committees.