OLYMPIA — A bill to increase the number of District Court judges in Snohomish County will soon be on the governor’s desk.
Senate Bill 5003 creates one additional judgeship, bringing the county’s total to 9. It would be the first expansion of the bench in a quarter century, a period in which caseloads swelled as population surged 40 percent.
The state House passed the bill 96-1 on Wednesday. The bill, sponsored by Sen. John Lovick, D-Mill Creek, cleared the Senate 49-0 in late January. It will now go to Gov. Jay Inslee for his expected signature.
The county’s District Court handles more filings annually than every other district court in the state, except King County, presiding District Court Judge Jennifer Rancourt testified in House and Senate hearings earlier this year.
The number of District Court judges in each county is set by statute. There’s no cost to the state as counties are required to pick up the full tab for salary and benefits. The current Snohomish County budget contains money to pay a new judge beginning in July, if the legislation is signed by the governor.
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