Pay hikes approved for district, supreme court judges | NevadaAppeal.com

Pay hikes approved for district, supreme court judges

The Senate Finance Committee on Thursday approved a compromise pay increase for Nevada’s district and supreme court judges that gives both a $30,000 raise.

The judges had originally asked for raises from $130,000 to $169,000 for district judges and from $140,000 to $182,000 for justices of the supreme court.

Under the plan in SB248 approved by Senate Finance, district judges would get an increase to a base rate of $160,000. Justices would get the same, increasing to an annual rate of $170,000.

Chief Justice Bill Maupin said the original recommendations came not from the judges but an independent appointed commission that studied the compensation of Nevada judges in comparison to judges in other states.

He pointed out that judges, like other elected officials in the state, are barred from receiving a pay raise during their term of office. To get the higher pay, they must be re-elected.

Because judges and justices serve six-year terms, they have complained over the years that they fall behind in pay because of inflation and rising costs of living. Supreme court judges in particular argue it isn’t fair for those elected two years ago to get higher pay than their colleagues elected four or more years ago.

To equalize the pay, the Legislature created the Supreme Court Law Library and District Court Law Library commissions, which pay differing rates to judges to ensure that all district judges get the same total annual pay.

The committee also agreed to process SB556 which recreates those commissions.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.