Superior Court judges in the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit have agreed to a voluntary pay cut in hopes of preventing their secretaries and other employees from having to take state-mandated furlough days, Senior Judge John Allen said Thursday.
The state furlough days are Oct. 9, Nov. 25 and Dec. 23. The judges will forfeit their pay for those days though they will be working, Allen said.
“This is not a furlough nor a state mandated reduction in pay,” Allen said. “This is a voluntary reduction in pay even though the courts will remain open for business.”
The state can not mandate a cut on Superior Court judges, who are elected officials. The move by the local judges, which is part of a statewide effort, will cost each of the six Muscogee County judges about $1,800, Allen said.
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Allen had not talked to all of the other five local judges — Frank Jordan, Bobby Peters, Doug Pullen, Gil McBride and Robert Johnston — but was confident all would participate.
“We are hoping by voluntary giving up the money, this will avoid furloughs for the other employees,” Allen said.
The state of Georgia is suffering through a revenue shortfall this year that could be $1.5 billion. Gov. Sonny Perdue has directed state agencies, including the courts, to trim their budgets.
Local Superior Court judges are paid through a combination of state and county money.