Bench & Bar

JAN 2018

The Bench & Bar magazine is published to provide members of the KBA with information that will increase their knowledge of the law, improve the practice of law, and assist in improving the quality of legal services for the citizenry.

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| JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 36 concern about long overdue salary increases for Kentucky judges, who have not received any real boost in compensation for a decade. e January 2017 Survey of Judicial Salaries by the National Center for State Courts shows that Kentucky has again fallen in national rankings, with Circuit Court salaries ranked 48 out of 50 states. "e lack of progress on this issue has left our judges feeling discouraged and under- valued," he said. "e longer we postpone action, the more difficult it will be to catch up on lost wages and avoid diminishing the quality of the Kentucky judiciary." He also noted that despite some recent improvements in compensation for the elected circuit clerks and non-elected court employees, their salaries still fall behind those in the Executive and Legislative branches. He said he will include a request to increase compensation for judges, circuit clerks and non-elected employees in the Judicial Branch's upcoming biennial budget. Lincoln, Pulaski and Rockcastle; Boone and Gallatin; Kenton; Floyd; Knott and Magoffin; Bourbon, Scott and Woodford; and Daviess." He said he presented a comprehensive, statewide judicial redistricting plan to the General Assembly in 2016 after years of study by a group of judges and court pro- fessionals in consultation with the National Center for State Courts. "While the legis- lature did not take up judicial redistricting during the 2017 session, I want to stress that the need for statewide redistricting is still there and we cannot ignore it," he said. "e plan certified by the Supreme Court is still valid, but we're open to modifying that plan based on recommendations from the legislature because there are some locations in the commonwealth where delayed justice is denying justice to our citizens." IMPROVING JUDICIAL BRANCH SALARIES Chief Justice Minton also expressed his Chief Justice Minton wrapped up his remarks by stating his unqualified support for the dedicated men and women who are the Judicial Branch in Kentucky. "Time and again, I'm impressed by the hard work, commitment and expertise they bring to all levels of the court system," he said. "Every single day, you can count on our justices, judges, circuit clerks and court personnel to carry out the business of the courts, to maintain the rule of law and to provide equal justice to all. It's the collective work of these nearly 3,800 individuals that makes the state of our judiciary strong and capable of responding to the many challenges that come our way." BACKGROUND e chief justice is the administrative head of the state court system and is responsible for overseeing its operation. Chief Justice Minton was elected to the Supreme Court in 2006. His fellow justices elected him to serve a third four-year term as chief justice in 2016. In July 2017, Chief Justice Minton com- pleted a one-year term as president of the Conference of Chief Justices and chair of the National Center for State Courts Board of Directors. Chief Justice Minton was the first chief justice from Kentucky to hold this post in nearly 25 years. He is also a member of the board of directors for the State Justice Institute, a federal nonprofit corporation that awards grants to improve the quality of justice in state courts. e AOC is the operations arm for the state court system. e AOC supports the activities of nearly 3,400 Kentucky Court of Justice employees and 404 elected justices, judges and circuit court clerks. e AOC also executes the Judicial Branch budget. BAR NEWS

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