Bryant signs bill raising judge and prosecutor pay

JACKSON — Gov. Phil Bryant has signed legislation giving Mississippi judges their first pay raise since 2003.

Circuit and chancery judges now make $104,000 a year. House Bill 484 was signed Friday and takes effect July 1. It increases pay in four annual steps to $146,000 a year by 2016. Pay also increases for district attorneys, appellate judges and county court judges.

Court filing fees will rise $40 to cover the raises. Fines for crimes and traffic tickets will increase $10 to cover prosecutors’ raises.

A 2011 survey showed Mississippi’s judges were the nation’s lowest-paid.

Supporters say higher pay will attract more qualified lawyers to become judges and district attorneys.

The law also instructs the state Personnel Board to regularly evaluate judges’ and prosecutors’ salaries, making recommendations to lawmakers for changes.

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