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UPDATE – Salary commission just set pay – giving Supreme Court justices higher pay than governor

Post by Brad Shannon / The Olympian on May 22, 2013 at 3:17 pm with No Comments »
May 23, 2013 8:05 am
Gov. Jay Inslee
Gov. Jay Inslee


Chief Justice Barbara Madsen
Chief Justice Barbara Madsen
Randy Dorn
Schools Supt. Randy Dorn

If case you wondered, Gov. Jay Inslee isn’t getting a pay raise this year – or in 2014. But the nine members of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Barbara Madsen will get raises on Sept. 1 – when their pay rises above that even of the governor.

The Washington Citizens’ Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials finished its work today and it is holding pay for governor – the top elected official’s spot – at $166,891. That’s the same it’s been since September 2008, shortly before the economy’s bottom fell out.

UPDATE: “It’s appropriate for these times when we’re doing everything we can to balance the budget,’’ Inslee spokeswoman Jaime Smith said of the commission’s decision to hold his pay. “You trust the commission to take into account all the factors in setting the salaries. That’s their job.’’

Under the votes taken by the citizen commission, pay for Supreme Court justices goes up to $167,505 in September, up from $164,221, and it rises to $172,531 in 2014.

Just over half of  statewide elected officials are getting no raises – including secretary of state (Kim Wyman), auditor (Troy Kelley), insurance commissioner (Mike Kreidler) and attorney general (Bob Ferguson) – and state lawmakers.

UPDATE: The House speaker (Frank Chopp) and Senate majority leader (Rodney Tom) will continue to earn $50,106, while  minority leaders  continue to be paid $46,106 and rank-and-file legislators earn $42,106 – plus $90 per diem for expenses. [Note: legislative figures are corrected.]

Full details are here.

Today’s action went further than an original proposal in January that would have also raised judicial pay and salaries for state schools chief, lands commissioner and insurance commissioner.

But the final result differed, according to results released from the commission’s director, Teri Wright.

As a result, longtime Lt. Gov. Brad Owen gets a raise of about $3,052 to $97,000; Treasurer Jim McIntire‘s pay goes up up $8,050 to $125,000; Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark‘s pay rises from $121,618 to $124,050 in September; and state schools chief Randy Dorn‘s pay rises from $121,618 to $124,050 in September and to $127,772 in 2014.

Only the vote on Dorn’s pay was unanimous – although the vote was 13 to 1 in favor of the pay for governor, secretary of state, auditor and the judicial branch.

Dorn – coincidentally – is the only state elected official who received more than 2 million votes last November. 


The wrap up of pay is this:

Position Current Salary Salary Effective 9/1/13   9/1/14

Governor 166,891 166,891 166,891
Lieutenant Governor 93,948 97,000 97,000
Secretary of State 116,950 116,950 116,950
Treasurer 116,950 125,000 125,000
Auditor 116,950 116,950 116,950
Attorney General 151,718 151,718 151,718
Insurance Commissioner 116,950 116,950 116,950
Supt. of Public Instruction 121,618 124,050 127,772
Commissioner of Public Lands 121,618 124,050 124,050
Judicial Branch
Supreme Court Justices 164,221 167,505 172,531
Court of Appeals Judges 156,328 159,455 164,238
Superior Court Judges 148,832 151,809 156,363
District Court Judges 141,710 144,544 148,881
Legislative Branch
Legislator 42,106 42,106 42,106
Speaker of the House 50,106 50,106 50,106
Senate Majority Leader 50,106 50,106 50,106
House Minority Leader 46,106 46,106 46,106
Senate Minority Leader 46,106 46,106 46,106


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