Kemp names former justice to state pay-setting commission | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Kemp names former justice to state pay-setting commission

Posted By on Thu, Jan 10, 2019 at 4:21 PM

Arkansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Dan Kemp announced today that he'd chosen retired Supreme Court Justice Annabelle Imber Tuck to the Independent Citizens Commission that meets annually to set pay for elected state officials, including judges.

Tuck succeeds Little Rock lawyer Chuck Banks, whose term expired. The commission was established by a voter-approved amendment in 2014 to remove salary setting from the Consgtitution and legislature. It produced a significant increase in pay for all officers, from legislators to judges, in its first round of pay deliberations, but has generally tracked pay raises for state employees in years since.

In 2017, Kemp asked on behalf of the court for an 11 percent pay raise for the justices, but the Commission granted 2 percent. The Commission granted a 3 percent raise in 2018, moving Supreme Court justices to $169,830 ($183,600 for the chief justice). Kemp supported that proposal.

The commission has raised the ire of some members of the Supreme Court, who've complained pay for them hasn't been raised enough, particularly in relationship to other courts. Justices Karen Baker and Jo Hart remonstrated the commission once and Banks, particularly, for comments about day-to-day responsibilities of appellate courts.

Other new appointments for the commission are due from the governor, Senate president and House speaker, each of whom names two members to the Commission.

Kemp's renews release said Tuck would "thoughtfully and thoroughly" perform the duties of the commission.

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