Franklin County Juror Pay on the Rise - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Franklin County Juror Pay on the Rise

PASCO, Wash.- A new pilot program has jurors in Franklin County excited.

It's one of three groups around the state that are upping juror pay to meet the state's minimum wage.

For nearly 50 years, jurors around the state have been paid a flat, $10 a day.  But now, under a new pilot program in Franklin County, that number is up to $60.

Only about 25% of potential jurors end up being eligible to serve, but with the increase, Franklin County Clerk Mike Killian hopes that'll rise.  The goal is to reach 50% turnout, and judges think the change is long overdue.

Officials say trial by jury is the best judicial system in the world, and opening up the jury pool to more people only betters that system.

The program is also taking place in Clark County and Des Moines Municipal Court.

It'll last through June of 2007, and interestingly enough, even though pay increases sixfold, it won't cost the county a penny extra. The state is paying the difference.