House passes raise for judges, DAs

glpender@sunherald.comMarch 7, 2012 

— After much debate, the state House today passed a pay raise for state judges and district attorneys, to be phased in over four years if passed into law and paid for with increased court fees.

Proponents note Mississippi’s judges are the lowest paid in the nation, with a state trial judge making $104,000 a year compared to the Southeastern average of $138,900. They say this results in a high turnover – 21 judgeships in the last two years – that slows the judicial system down and ends up costing people and businesses who use the courts.

Opponents say judges’ pay is still far above what most Mississippians make and that a $40 increase in chancery and circuit filing fees and $100 increase for appellate docket fees will hit cash-strapped people. Some said they oppose a raise for relatively high-paid judges when lower-paid public servants are not receiving raises.

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