LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Supreme Court asked Tuesday for an 11 percent pay raise.
The court asked the Independent Citizens Commission to raise the annual salary of the Supreme Court chief justice from $180,000 to $199,800 and the salary of the other Supreme Court justices from $166,500 to $184,815.
Also Tuesday, the Arkansas Court of Appeals and other judges requested a 2 percent raise.
The proposal, submitted to the commission by the Arkansas Judicial Council on the judges’ behalf, would increase the annual salary of the Court of Appeals chief judge from $164,000 to $167,280 and the salary of the other Court of Appeals judges from $161,500 to $164,730.
Circuit judges’ salaries would increase from $160,000 to $163,200, and district judges’ salaries would increase from $140,000 to $142,800.
The commission, which is responsible for setting the salaries of constitutional officers, legislators, judges and prosecuting attorneys, gave judges a raise in 2015, the first year the panel set salaries after being created by an act of the Legislature.
The panel’s action two years ago raised annual pay from $161,601 to $180,000 for the Supreme Court chief justice, from $149,589 to $166,500 for the other Supreme Court justices, from $147,286 to $164,000 for the Court of Appeals chief judge, from $144,982 to $161,500 for the other Court of Appeals judges, from $140,372 to $160,000 for circuit judges and from $125,495 to $140,000 for district judges.
The commission did not approve raises in 2016.
The proposal submitted to the commission Tuesday notes that the current annual rate of inflation is 2.2 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor; that lawmakers increased the salaries of state government attorneys by 8 percent last year; and that Arkansas last month became the only state in modern U.S. history to review seven death-row appeals within a two-week period.
The proposal also notes that Supreme Court justices make $168,045 in Louisiana, $170,544 in Iowa, $172,017 in Missouri and $182,688 in Tennessee.
The commission did not take immediate action on the request.