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State-mandated wage hikes approved for local government

The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners recently approved salary increases for county judges, prosecutors and court commissioners, as mandated by state law.

While the commissioners took action, Personnel Director Bert Furuta said they didn’t have a choice as the increases are outlined by the Washington State Citizens’ Commission on Salaries.

Under the new guidelines, Superior Court judges will make $148,831 per year, with half of this amount paid by the county.

Of the $141,708 now paid to District Court judges, the county will pay the full amount.

The state also pays half of the prosecutor’s salary, which is yet to be determined.

While the commissioners vote to approve a salary increase, they cannot do so for themselves. The board last voted a salary increase for the Central Kitsap Commissioner from $87,256 to $105,580 per year, to take place after the commissioner elected in 2006 took office.

Similarly, the commissioners cannot vote to decrease their own salary, a topic that has come up several times in light of the recent budget crisis.

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