|Committee: Ways and Means General Fund||Sponsor: Chestnut|
|Analyst: Pete Grogan||Date: 04/13/2021|
House Bill 584 as introduced establishes a uniform compensation plan for all circuit court judges, district court judges, appellate court judges, supreme court justices, and the chief justice of the supreme court by: 1) setting initial salaries for circuit court, district court, and appellate court judges and associate justices and the chief justice of the supreme court; and 2) providing for a 7.5% pay raise effective on October 1st following the completion of every six years of service as a judge or justice. These provisions will increase the obligations of the State General Fund, by an estimated $5.3 million dollars for fiscal year 2022 and by an undetermined amount for each fiscal year thereafter, dependent upon the number of judges and justices that would receive a 7.5% pay raise for completion of six, twelve, or eighteen years of service.
Further this bill (1) codifies existing practice of setting the current salaries for district attorneys (DAs), serving as of October 1, 2021, to $1,000 less than the highest paid circuit judge of the state; and (2) establishes a new compensation plan for DAs newly elected or appointed after October 1, 2021, which provides for an initial salary of $140,000 with a 7.5% pay raise after completion of each term of office, up to three terms. The current base salary for DAs is $156,522. Each DA in office on October 1, 2021 that is re-elected to a new term will receive an estimated salary increase of $16,400 which would increase the obligations of the State General Fund by an estimated $517,000 over the last three quarters of fiscal year 2023 and by an undetermined amount each fiscal year thereafter, dependent upon the salary of the highest paid circuit court judge in the state. However, the increase in fiscal year 2023 could be offset, in part, by an undetermined amount, dependent upon the number of newly elected or appointed DAs that take office after October 1, 2021 and their salary.
Further, this bill provides that effective upon the next term of the Attorney General after October 1, 2021, the salary of the Attorney General would be equal to the salary of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court instead of an associate justice of the Supreme Court, currently approximately $163,601 annually. This would increase the obligations of the State General Fund by an estimated $30,000 over the last three quarters of fiscal year 2023 by an estimated $40,000 for each full fiscal year thereafter until the Attorney General enters a new term.
In addition, the provisions of this bill would prohibit circuit and district court judges from receiving salary supplements or expense allowances, or both, which would reduce obligations, by an undetermined amount, of those county general funds that currently pay salary supplements and expense allowances.
This bill further provides that any salaries of elected officials, state officers, or employees, excluding circuit and district judges, based on the salaries of a judge or justice shall be based on the salary of the judge or justice in effect on September 30, 2021.
|Steve Clouse, Chair|
Ways and Means General Fund