Idaho’s top judges would get pay increases next year ranging from 7.5 percent to 11 percent, under legislation that passed the Senate unanimously on Wednesday and an appropriation that won unanimous approval from the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee this morning. “We know over the past few years, that one of the issues has been being able to recruit qualified judges, both at the district level as well as the other levels, and salary has been one of the main components of that,” said Rep. Darrell Bolz, R-Caldwell, JFAC vice chair. “We certainly want qualified people to serve on the bench.”
The chief justice’s salary would rise from the current $123,400 to $137,000 next year, an 11 percent increase; the rest of the Idaho Supreme Court justices would see their salaries rise from $121,900 to $135,000, a 10.7 percent raise. Court of Appeals judges would go up from their current $120,900 salaries to $130,000 next year, a 7.5 percent increase, and the chief judge of the Court of Appeals would rise to $132,000, a 9.2 percent raise.
District judges’ salaries would rise from the current $114,300 to $124,000 next year, an 8.5 percent increase; and administrative district judges would rise from $115,800 to $126,000, an 8.8 percent increase. Magistrate judges’ current salaries of $109,300 would rise to $112,000, a 2.5 percent raise.
The appropriation bill is a “trailer bill” to SB 1394, which set the raises; it will “trail” after SB 1394, and start in the Senate. If SB 1394 doesn’t pass the House, the appropriation bill would be pulled back.