In a bold and calculated maneuver, Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye on Wednesday submitted a budget request seeking $69.5 million to provide New York judges with a retroactive pay hike, which would represent their first salary increase since 1999 and only the second in 18 years.

Under the proposal, the salaries of state judges would be proportionately linked to those of federal district court judges. Kaye would receive the smallest increase, about 14.3 percent (to $178,310 from $156,000). Supreme Court justices would see an 18.6 percent boost (to $162,100 from $136,700), and some city judges could receive raises of more than 25 percent. The raises would be tied to the current U.S. District judge salary of $162,100 and retroactive to April, the start of the current fiscal year. When federal judicial salaries jump to $165,200 on Jan. 1, 2007, New York judicial salaries would increase correspondingly.

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