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Fair Pay for Judges

Once again, the state Legislature is giving incompetence a bad name. The legislators have refused to give the state's judges a pay raise until their own salaries are raised. Earlier this month, the Legislature had set aside $48 million for pay raise for the judges, but then failed to introduce a bill releasing the money.

New York judges take home between $108,800 and $156,000 a year. This is not that far above the first-year starting salary of law school graduates joining a major law firm in Manhattan. In fact, the judges have not gotten a raise or even a cost-of-living adjustment in over 10 years.

This is completely unacceptable. Unlike the legislators, the judges are full-time employees with strict limits on outside employment. No one expects the salaries to compete with the compensation lawyers can earn in private practice, but judges should be offered a salary that reflects the importance of the work they do.

The people of New York state should be embarrassed by the salaries paid its judges. We believe judges should be held to the highest possible standards. And they should be paid accordingly.

Surely someone in Albany understands this.

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