Few would dispute the important role that judges play in our state, and the necessary service they provide to our society. Judges preside over the most significant matters—criminal trials and sentencing, parental terminations, complex business lawsuits and significant civil actions with catastrophic injuries and large payouts. In recent years, the complexity of cases in New Jersey state courts has increased. However, the salaries of judges have not only not risen, but have been reduced when measured against the cost of living, and the actual take-home income of judges has been reduced by virtue of pension and health insurance contributions made by judges. New Jersey has the third highest cost of living of all states in the nation, a cost of living which continues to increase. Yet, state court judges in New Jersey have not received a raise since January 2008.