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Courts and Crime

Chief Justice Saufley Advocates For Pay Increase For Trial Judges

The Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court is calling for a pay increase for judges in the state.

Chief Justice Leigh Saufley told members of the State Compensation Commission Wednesday that Maine pays its judges the lowest salary of any state in the country. Maine trial judges make just over $133,000 a year, she says, while their counterparts in New Hampshire make almost $176,000 a year.

“I am not ready yet to tell you that there is a trend, but just in the recent years we have had three now four district court judges that have left.”

Saufley says she doesn’t believe that the lower salaries are affecting the state’s judiciary, but says it is important that Maine attract and maintain skilled judges.

“I don’t want to get political, but I think it is more important today than it has ever been for us to talk out loud how important it is to have an independent judiciary,” Saufley says.