New York Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye Monday proposed a public official compensation plan designed to remove the specter of politics from the controversial salary issue and to ensure that judges — and, critically, lawmakers and executive department heads — receive annual cost-of-living pay hikes.

The chief judge’s proposal, revealed Monday in her annual State of the Judiciary address was drafted to eliminate a political problem that prevented judges from receiving pay raises last year, and which is largely responsible for the fact that judges have received only two salary hikes in the last 18 years. It represents an extraordinary entreaty in that the chief judge is not only calling for salary hikes for judges, but for officials in the other branches as well. And not only is Kaye calling for across-the-board pay hikes in all three branches of government, she also has devised a specific plan already reduced to bill form to achieve her objective.

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