New Mexico governor signs bill substantially raising judge pay



(The Center Square) – New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed House Bill 141 into law this past weekend to increase salaries for New Mexico judges.

“I am pleased to be able to assist the Legislature in making this a reality,” Lujan Grisham said in a statement. “Through this bill, we are investing in our current and future workforce.”

New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice C. Shannon Bacon praised the governor’s decision.

“We appreciate the support of the governor and the Legislature for this investment in state courts to meet the legal needs of New Mexicans. Improved judicial salaries will help attract mid-career lawyers with a diverse legal background to serve as state court judges,” Bacon said. “The governor leaves a lasting legacy for all New Mexicans by signing this legislation to recruit and retain the most qualified, experienced legal professionals as judges on New Mexico courts.”

New Mexico Supreme Court justices previously made $191,693 per year, according to data from the state.

The new law bumps their pay up to $232,600 annually — an increase of roughly 20%. The chief justice also earns $2,000 more than the other judges.

Additionally, the bill bumped the pay to $220,970 annually for judges on the Court of Appeals, up from $182,098.70; $209,921.50 annually for judges for the state’s district courts, up from $172,993.60; and $199,425.43 annually for judges of a Metropolitan Court, up from $164,344.07.

State representative Dayan Hochman-Vigil, D-Albuquerque, who sponsored the bill, said it will help the state attract better judges.

“Our ability to recruit and retain good judges will be greatly improved by making their salaries competitive with other states,” she said in the release. “Good judges at all levels are vital to an effective legal system, and I’m proud to champion these well-deserved raises for their hard work to uphold the laws of New Mexico.”

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