Kcra

Kansas
Court Reporters
​Association

From: Helen Pedigo [mailto:Pedigoh@kscourts.org]
Sent: Monday, May 01, 2017 2:53 PM
Subject: CALL TO ACTION - FINAL PUSH - PLEASE SHARE

 
Good afternoon,

Today begins the final push to end the 2017 Legislative session.  This is what we've been working toward.  Thanks to a team effort, the Judicial Branch salary initiative remains alive at some level in both houses of the Legislature. 

Both Senate Ways and Means and House Appropriations Committees met late last week to review their previous actions, the consensus revenue estimates, and the Governor's budget recommendations.

If you have not contacted your legislators, this is a good time to do so.  Messaging ideas are included below. Our goals are to keep funding in the budget for Judicial Branch salaries; and increase the amount of funding, if possible.

As always, please use your own equipment on your own time to convey messages in whatever form you wish.  E-mail is fine.  Do not use "cookie-cutter" language. Use your own words to describe your story. Include the fact that you are a constituent of the legislator you are contacting.

If you have already contacted your legislators, you might consider writing a simple note reminding the legislator that you've written them in the past, that you would appreciate their vote in support of more funding for Judicial Branch salaries, and that you will be following the issue and their vote.

Please contact me if you have questions. Thanks for all you do!

I would suggest messaging depending on who you are contacting: 

Senate members

  1. Thank you for including judges and Judicial Branch employees in the 2% across the board salary increase passed by the Senate.  I appreciate your action during this time of economic challenge.  
  2. However, the recent Judicial Branch salary study indicates that a significant need remains to bring Judicial Branch employee and judge salaries to market rate.  

Employee Salaries:
Federal Poverty Level:
The study found that more than one‐quarter of our positions have starting salaries below the federal poverty level for a family of four.
Compensation Below Market: Every single job classification is below market by at least 4.6% and as much as 22.2%.
Working Outside Employment: Nearly one‐third of our employees are working more than one job to make ends meet and many more are looking for additional work outside the Judicial Branch for the same reason. Based on data from the USA Today article, States Where the Most People Work Two Jobs, Jan. 21, 2014, this exceeds Kansas’ average by a stunning 24%.
District Magistrate Judge Salaries:  The NCSC performed a salary study for Kansas district magistrate judges. As with the employee salary study, the results are disturbing.
The study showed that a little over 22% is needed to raise district magistrate judge salaries to market when taking into consideration variables like docket type, education and experience, and election and retention status.
Approximately 26% of magistrates who responded to the compensation study survey indicated they are seeking employment outside the Judicial Branch and gave compensation as the number one reason.
Kansas District Judge Salaries Near The Bottom Nationally:  Based on a National Center for State Courts (NCSC) study, Kansas district judge pay ranks a dismal 50th in the nation before adjusting for cost of living and 45th in the nation after adjusting for cost of living.
The FY 2018‐2019 Judicial Branch budget request would make district judge pay equal to an average adjusted trial judge salary for surrounding states (Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma) and would improve district judge salary rank to 27th in the nation.
Kansas judges have left the bench for jobs in the private sector and in other government entities with pay being cited as the primary reason.
Kansas judge salaries have been stagnant since FY 2009—unlike judges in our neighboring states.
The budget request would increase salaries of district magistrate judges and appellate court judges and justices by the same percentage as that of district judges.  

            3. We would greatly appreciate your action to bring Judicial Branch employee and judge salaries to market.


House Appropriations Committee members


  1. Thank you for including Judicial Branch employees in the $6 million salary increase and the approximately $840,000 in new positions passed by the House Appropriations Committee.  I appreciate your action during this time of economic challenge.
  2. However, the recent Judicial Branch salary study indicates that a significant need remains to bring Judicial Branch employee and judge salaries to market rate.  

Employee Salaries:
Federal Poverty Level:
The study found that more than one‐quarter of our positions have starting salaries below the federal poverty level for a family of four.
Compensation Below Market: Every single job classification is below market by at least 4.6% and as much as 22.2%.
Working Outside Employment: Nearly one‐third of our employees are working more than one job to make ends meet and many more are looking for additional work outside the Judicial Branch for the same reason. Based on data from the USA Today article, States Where the Most People Work Two Jobs, Jan. 21, 2014, this exceeds Kansas’ average by a stunning 24%.
District Magistrate Judge Salaries:
The NCSC performed a salary study for Kansas district magistrate judges. As with the employee salary study, the results are disturbing.
The study showed that a little over 22% is needed to raise district magistrate judge salaries to market when taking into consideration variables like docket type, education and experience, and election and retention status.
Approximately 26% of magistrates who responded to the compensation study survey indicated they are seeking employment outside the Judicial Branch and gave compensation as the number one reason.
Kansas District Judge Salaries Near The Bottom Nationally:
Based on a National Center for State Courts (NCSC) study, Kansas district judge pay ranks a dismal 50th in the nation before adjusting for cost of living and 45th in the nation after adjusting for cost of living.
The FY 2018‐2019 Judicial Branch budget request would make district judge pay equal to an average adjusted trial judge salary for surrounding states (Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma) and would improve district judge salary rank to 27th in the nation.
Kansas judges have left the bench for jobs in the private sector and in other government entities with pay being cited as the primary reason.
Kansas judge salaries have been stagnant since FY 2009—unlike judges in our neighboring states.
The budget request would increase salaries of district magistrate judges and appellate court judges and justices by the same percentage as that of district judges.

        3. We would greatly appreciate your action to bring Judicial Branch employee and judge salaries closer to market.

Other House members 


  1.  As you consider your vote on the budget bill, I ask that you vote to adopt the budget bill that contains Judicial Branch salary increases and new positions.  I appreciate your action during this time of economic challenge.
  2.  However, the recent Judicial Branch salary study indicates that a significant need remains to bring Judicial Branch employee and judge salaries to market rate.  

Employee Salaries:
Federal Poverty Level: The study found that more than one‐quarter of our positions have starting salaries below the federal poverty level for a family of four.
Compensation Below Market: Every single job classification is below market by at least 4.6% and as much as 22.2%.
Working Outside Employment: Nearly one‐third of our employees are working more than one job to make ends meet and many more are looking for additional work outside the Judicial Branch for the same reason. Based on data from the USA Today article, States Where the Most People Work Two Jobs, Jan. 21, 2014, this exceeds Kansas’ average by a stunning 24%.
District Magistrate Judge Salaries:
The NCSC performed a salary study for Kansas district magistrate judges. As with the employee salary study, the results are disturbing.
The study showed that a little over 22% is needed to raise district magistrate judge salaries to market when taking into consideration variables like docket type, education and experience, and election and retention status.
Approximately 26% of magistrates who responded to the compensation study survey indicated they are seeking employment outside the Judicial Branch and gave compensation as the number one reason.
Kansas District Judge Salaries Near The Bottom Nationally:
Based on a National Center for State Courts (NCSC) study, Kansas district judge pay ranks a dismal 50th in the nation before adjusting for cost of living and 45th in the nation after adjusting for cost of living.
The FY 2018‐2019 Judicial Branch budget request would make district judge pay equal to an average adjusted trial judge salary for surrounding states (Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma) and would improve district judge salary rank to 27th in the nation.
Kansas judges have left the bench for jobs in the private sector and in other government entities with pay being cited as the primary reason.
Kansas judge salaries have been stagnant since FY 2009—unlike judges in our neighboring states.
The budget request would increase salaries of district magistrate judges and appellate court judges and justices by the same percentage as that of district judges.

      3. We would greatly appreciate your action to bring Judicial Branch employee and judge salaries closer to market.