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Kentucky Chief Justice Asks Lawmakers To Pay Judges More

Kentucky AOC

During his annual State of the Judiciary address on Friday, Kentucky Chief Justice John Minton asked lawmakers to raise salaries for the state’s 284 judges and justices.

Minton said the state compensates judges at the lowest rate compared to surrounding states, which he said makes judges feel discouraged and undervalued.

“It also provides little incentive, really, for the best and brightest lawyers to leave a lucrative law practice to mount an expensive campaign for election to judicial office,” Minton said.

Rep. Chris Harris, a Democrat from Forest Hills, was among lawmakers who voiced support for Minton’s proposal.

“I don’t think it’s anything for our state to be proud of that we’re among the lowest in the country of what we pay our judges,” Harris said.

Judges and justices haven’t gotten a raise since 2007 except for two years of 1 percent raises and two years of $400 raises.

During his 2014 address, Minton said that Kentucky judges make about 17.4 percent less than the national average.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives for Kentucky Public Radio, a group of public radio stations including WKMS, WFPL in Louisville, WEKU in Richmond and WKYU in Bowling Green. A native of Lexington, Ryland most recently served as the Capitol Reporter for Kentucky Public Radio. He has covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin.
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