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04/20/2024 01:33 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: September 8, 2021 09:41 AM
From: Representative Francis X. Ryan
To: All House members
Subject: Judicial Salaries
Article V, Section 16 of the Pennsylvania Constitution provides that a judge or justice’s salary “shall not be diminished during their terms of office, unless by law applying to all salaried officers of the Commonwealth.”  As you may recall the pay raise debacle of 2005 (Act 44), the law was repealed a mere four months later with Act 72 of 2005.  In Stilp v. Commonwealth, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that, for the sake of “judicial independence,” the repealer was ineffective as it applied to judicial salaries.  It should come as no surprise that every effort to address judicial salaries and benefits over the last 16 years has been unsuccessful.

Effective January 1, 2021, salaries for associate justices on Pennsylvania’s highest court increased to  $215,037.00 per year, plus benefits.  The Chief Justice’s salary increased to $221,295.00.

My amendment would remove this language and allow the General Assembly and the Governor to develop a rational policy for judicial salaries and compensation that is more in-line with the cost controls implemented for other public officials over the years.

I urge you to add your name to the list of cosponsors for this important joint resolution. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Lily Guthrie, at lguthrie@pahousegop.com or 783-1815.

Introduced as HB1881