A bill I sponsored with Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, to add a fourth superior court judge for Whatcom County passed the Senate today. Whatcom County Superior Court has had three judges since the 1970s. In the meantime the population of the county has tripled, making it increasingly difficult for the county to process criminal trials and civil actions.
Whatcom County has been long overdue for a fourth judge. In a situation like this where the county has come forward with resources and the desire to do move forward, I believe the Legislature’s role in this situation is to respond.
Senate Bill 5052 changes the number of Superior Court judges authorized for Whatcom County from three to four and would be effective only if the county agrees to pay its portion of the expenses associated with the new judge.
The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.