Kentucky’s House could vote as early as today on a plan to create a special state salary commission for the state’s top officials as well as all judges in the state.
Under HB 182 the legislature would be required to create an Independent State Salary Commission which would be “the sole authority determining the salaries” of the 1) General Assembly 2) Governor and top executive branch officials and 3) judges of the state. The commission would “periodically” adopt salary schedules (plural) for those officials, effective 90 days after filing with the Secretary of State. Any one of all of the salary schedules could be challenged by a petition signed by qualified voters numbering at least 5% of the whole number casting votes in the last Governor’s race. Using the 2011 race, that would mean about 41,657 signatures. If they succeed, the challenged salary schedules would not go into place until after an election at which a majority of voters must vote to approve them.
Interestingly, and unlike a similar salary commission on the ballot in Arkansas in 2014, the Kentucky version retains the constitutional provision that protects a diminishment of judicial compensation (“The compensation of a justice or judge shall not be reduced during his term.”) Prior coverage of the Arkansas proposal here.
HB 182 is presently on the House floor’s Orders of the Day.