OLYMPIA: Pay freeze for judges and lawmakers OK’d

The state’s citizen salary commission voted Tuesday to freeze pay for the state’s 479 judges, legislators and statewide elected officials for the next two years.

The vote of the 16-member citizen commission was unanimous on freezing pay for people elected to executive and legislative branch jobs, and 11-3 in favor of freezing pay for judges.

As a result, Gov. Chris Gregoire’s pay remains at $166,891 a year for 2009 and 2010. Supreme Court justices’ pay will stay at $164,221, and Court of Appeals judges’ pay remains at $156,328.

Rank-and-file lawmakers will continue to earn $42,106, although minority leaders in the House and the Senate will get $46,106 and both the House speaker and the Senate majority leader will receive $50,106.

The commission was created after the passage of a 1987 constitutional amendment that took pay-setting duties out of the Legislature’s hands, and its policy is to set pay based on job responsibilities and “to attract citizens of the highest quality to public service.”