Thursday open line and Arkansas headlines: Plus judicial pay raises | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Thursday open line and Arkansas headlines: Plus judicial pay raises

Posted By on Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 5:35 PM


Speak now. Or else check out today's video news roundup.

* JUDGES PAY: Arkansas judges could be heading to quite a pay raise. A consensus developed today for a significant raise for district judges (local judges with county wide jurisdiction) who currently make about $125,000, or about 89 percent of circuit judge pay. The average of suggested raises was almost $140,000, close to the range of comparable states being used — Iowa, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Louisiana and Missouri.

There's more disagreement on raises for circuit judges, court of appeals and Supreme Court.

There, the judges are pitching a pay model that suggests they've been left out of state employee COLAs and the merit pay system for state employees. True, but they make far more money than other state employees and enjoy a richer pension. There's a wide gap among members on those positions, Commissioner Barbara Graves said. Some have pointed to pay comparisons with the comparable states that show circuit and appellate judges squarely in the middle. The circuit judges, for example, make $140,372, against a median in the comparable states of $141,812 and an average of $146,000. Vice Chair Chuck Banks, a lawyer, has been pushing for significant pay raises for the judges, noting the importance of their work and the ability of judges to theoretically make more in private practice. Recommendations for chief justice have been as high as $191,000. The judges themselves are pressing for $165,000 at the circuit judge level, though salaries in Arkansas already are the 28th highest in the country for a state almost at the bottom in median pay. Banks has floated a proposal to give all judges a 15 percent pay raise (from more than $20,000 for circuit judges to $25,000 for the chief justice). That  has met resistance from members who think the district judges were underpaid, but aren't so sure the others are that far out of line. At least one commissioner, after seeing comparable state numbers, called for no raises for the higher level judges.

State employees, who make $60,000 on average, are slated for a 1 percent pay raise this year.

The commission resumes deliberations at 8:30 a.m. this morning.





From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (20)

Showing 1-20 of 20

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-20 of 20

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016
  • Free Zinn book for Arkansas teachers

    Arkansas teachers! Get your free Howard Zinn book here! Whether Kim Hendren likes it or not.
    • Mar 3, 2017
  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University.
    • Apr 30, 2016

Most Shared

  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation