Legislature and Governor agree on judicial pay raise, disagree on implementation

Issue August 2013 By Lee Ann Constantine

When Gov. Deval L. Patrick signed the fiscal year 2014 budget into law on July 12, included was an amendment to the judicial pay raise passed by the Legislature earlier in the month. The Legislature proposed an incremental increase with effective dates of Jan. 1, 2014; Jan. 1, 2015; and July 1, 2015. Patrick, who supports the increase, believes that two years is too long to wait. He amended the budget so the entire $30,000 increase will be effective on Jan. 1, 2014. He also provided the funding for the pay increase in a supplemental budget also filed on July 12. Massachusetts judges last received compensation increases in 2006.

At press time, the Legislature rejected the governor's amendment instead voting on an amendment containing an incremental raise with effective dates of Jan.1, 2014 and July 1, 2014. The supplemental budget, which included the necessary funding for the pay raise, was pending before the House Ways and Means Committee.