Gov. Inslee Signs Bill to Add Superior Court Judge in Benton & F - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Gov. Inslee Signs Bill to Add Superior Court Judge in Benton & Franklin Counties

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Governor Jay Inslee signed legislation into law Monday that will raise the number of superior court judges serving Benton and Franklin counties from six to seven.

The population growth in the region has increased the demand on the courts.

Legislators and members of the judicial system hope this additional judge position will relieve some of the strain on the system.

Governor Inslee said the additional judgeship will allow the courts to more efficiently cover the growing case loads in the tri-cities.

"Rapidly expanding counties with a lot of work to do. So now having an additional judge to do this work is great. We know we got a lot of work to do both in the criminal and civil dockets," Governor Inslee said.

The bill passed in both the House and the Senate by a landslide.

Representative Terry Nealey of Dayton sponsored the house bill and came to the signing Monday.

The new bill will take effect on July 27th, but funding for the position won't be in place until 2014.