BILL ANALYSIS

 

 

Senate Research Center

C.S.S.B. 824

85R28073 CAE-D

By: Burton

 

State Affairs

 

5/8/2017

 

Committee Report (Substituted)

 

 

 

AUTHOR'S / SPONSOR'S STATEMENT OF INTENT

 

Section 659.012 of the Texas Government Code governs salaries for judges serving in district courts´┐Żthe trial courts of general jurisdiction in Texas. The maximum allowable salary for a district judge with combined state and county funds is $158,000. Typically, judges in large, urban counties bear a great deal of extrajudicial service duties to perform. Payment for these services count against the statutory cap on judicial compensation´┐Żmeaning that no matter how many extrajudicial services these judges perform, they cannot earn more than the cap. This cap creates a disincentive for judges to perform extrajudicial services. Very populous Texas counties face difficulty in retaining quality district judges for the administration of justice and these vital extrajudicial services.

 

S.B. 824 amends Section 659.012 of the Texas Government Code to alter the district judge salary cap for district courts in counties with a population greater than 750,000, by excluding compensation for extrajudicial services provided by a district judge.

 

S.B. 824 would allow populous counties permissive authority to increase compensation of their district judges for extrajudicial services, thereby allowing them to provide a greater amount of these services to their courts. (Original Author's / Sponsor's Statement of Intent)

 

C.S.S.B. 824 amends current law relating to compensation of certain justices and judges for performing extrajudicial services.

 

RULEMAKING AUTHORITY

 

This bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, institution, or agency.

 

SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS

 

SECTION 1. Amends Section 659.012(a), Government Code, as follows:

 

(a) Provides that, notwithstanding Section 659.011 (Salaries Set in Appropriations Act):

 

(1) a judge of a district court is entitled to an annual salary from the state of at least $125,000, except that the combined salary of a district judge from state and county sources, not including compensation for any extrajudicial services performed on behalf of the county, may not exceed the amount that is $5,000 less than the salary provided for a justice of a court of appeals other than a chief justice;

 

(2) a justice of a court of appeals other than the chief justice is entitled to an annual salary from the state that is equal to 110 percent of the salary of a district judge, except that the combined salary of a justice of the court of appeals other than the chief justice from all state and county sources, not including compensation for any extrajudicial services performed on behalf of the county, may not exceed the amount that is $5,000 less than the salary provided for justice of the supreme court;

 

(3) and (4) makes no changes to these subdivisions.

 

SECTION 2. Effective date: September 1, 2017.