Planet Princeton

NJ governor signs bill giving pay raises to judges, prosecutors and top state officials

Democratic New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill today that boosts the pay of judges, top state officials prosecutors, clerks, sheriffs, and other government employees.

The governor’s cabinet officers and members of the Board of Public Utilities will all receive a salary of $175,000 in calendar year 2018 and beyond.

Supreme Court, Appellate Division judges, assignment judges, judges of the Superior Court, and judges of the Tax Court will all receive salary increases of $8,000 each per year for the next three years.  Beginning in 2021, salaries will be adjusted based on the change in the Consumer Price Index.

Annual salaries of justices and judges range from $165,000 for Tax Court judges to $192,795 for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The same raises of $8,000 per year also will be given to workers’ compensation judges, administrative law judges, surrogates, county clerks, registers of deeds and mortgages, sheriffs and prosecutors. Current law sets the annual salary for county prosecutors at $165,000.

The salaries of the executive directors of the full-time legislative staffs under the direction of the New Jersey Senate president, the speaker of the General Assembly, and the minority leaders of each house of the Legislature will be established by the president of the Senate or by the speaker of the General Assembly, in an amount that the president or speaker determines, not to exceed $175,000.

The Office of Legislative Services estimates that the total impact of the bill on a calendar year basis is a combined state and county expenditure increase of about $5.8 million in 2018; about $10.7 million in 2019; and about $15.6 million in 2020.

All of the salary increases included in the bill will also increase the state and county contributions to the state-administered pension system. A dollar figure on how much the raises will increase pension costs has not been provided.

“This long overdue measure marks the first increase in judicial salaries in nearly a decade and is critical to ensuring that we continue to retain and attract quality legal talent to the State bench,” Murphy said of the raises.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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