Hawaii State Salaries 2012: Hawaii Judiciary

Rj Brown

Hawaii's state judges are among the lowest paid in the nation — and their salaries won't be improving anytime soon given legislative pay cuts that have been extended through the end of next year.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie extended 5-percent pay cuts imposed in 2009 for top legislative, executive and judicial positions. The initial cuts represented a first-time-ever salary cut for Hawaii's approximately 80 state judges.

As a result, most of the judiciary's more than 1,900 employees saw their pay unchanged from last year. Unionized employees saw their salaries revert back to pre-furlough levels on July 1, 2011. But that was followed by subsequent pay cuts for those represented by the Hawaii Government Employees Association and United Public Workers unions.

Under Hawaii's open records law, Civil Beat asked the State Judiciary for the names, positions and salaries of all employees. The request is part of a larger effort to make more transparent how the state is spending taxpayer money. For unionized employees, the judiciary provided Civil Beat with salary ranges.

The court system spends about 70 percent of its $144 million budget on payroll expenses. The judiciary's overall budget represents less than 3 percent of the state's general-fund budget.

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