Judicial pay and
court funding were highlighted in remarks made by Ohio Supreme Court
Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor during her State of the Judiciary address
on Aug. 28, where she spoke to nearly 300 judges at the Ohio Judicial Conference in Columbus.
Justice O’Connor said judicial salaries have not been adjusted since
2008 when a statue providing for annual adjustments expired.
a career in public service shouldn’t mean being saddled with a stagnant
salary for the entire time you serve on the bench. This amount of time
without a pay raise is far too long,” Chief Justice O’Connor said.
Justice O’Connor said she’s worried judges will switch to private
practice to make a better living and that attorneys won’t even consider
becoming judges due to current judges’ salaries.
is extremely troubling and this translates into some real loses within
the judicial family across this state,” Chief Justice O’Connor said.
chief justice also addressed court funding during her speech. She said
the Task Force on the Funding of Ohio’s Courts has estimated that it
costs more than $1 billion to operate the state’s courts.
first glance, that may seem like a lot—$1.1 billion, but with a closer
look and in comparison with other sections of government it truly is
not,” Chief Justice O’Connor said. “Given the constitutional and
statutory obligations required of Ohio courts and their programmatic
initiatives, it’s not a stretch to say quite possibly that Ohio courts
addition, Chief Justice O’Connor explained about the 11-member Task
Force on Access to Justice that helps identify obstacles for low-income
and disadvantaged Ohioans going through the judicial system.
urged the task force to broaden the definition to not only include
those who cannot afford an attorney, but also to those who encounter
other barriers to the legal system, such as language barriers,” Chief
Justice O’Connor said.
judicial branch should be proud, the chief justice concluded, for its
successful and innovative programs that better serve Ohioans. She urged
judges to share these success stories with their communities.
View Chief Justice O’Connor’s State of the Judiciary address.
Content courtesy of Court News Ohio.