Government Spending

Factoid of the Day

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Number of Los Angeles County judges who make more money than U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts? Four hundred.

From an AP story about budget priorities in the "cash-strapped" state of California:

Judge you know that seems to me to be about right

Judges in Tulare County still get free health club memberships. Those in Kern County can count on a $600-a-month car allowance. And colleagues in other counties get perks such as funds for "professional development" and money to buy extra health insurance. […]

The heftiest perks go to Los Angeles County judges, who get $46,000 a year from the county on top of their state salaries, giving them a total of $225,000. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts makes $217,400 per year, and associate justices bring in $208,100.

An appellate court last year ruled that the Los Angeles County perks, which cost $21 million annually, were unconstitutional. But the judges fiercely resisted attempts to do away with the extra funds, hiring a law firm and Sacramento lobbyist to resist challenges to the benefits. […]

Curt Child, who is the Administrative Office of the Courts' top Sacramento lobbyist, said the legislation was necessary to stave off legal chaos and defections from the bench while judicial officials figure out an equitable salary scheme for all superior court judges.

"Quite frankly, many of these judges went on the bench understanding and relying that these benefits were there," said Child[.]

Reason on California's self-inflicted budget nightmares here. Link via LA Observed.