Low-Paid Mass. Prosecutors Receive Small Salary Bump

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A $36.5 billion state budget is heading to the governor's desk after lawmakers approved it just hours before the new fiscal year officially began Tuesday.

The budget includes more money for drug-abuse treatment and the Department of Children and Families. It also allows UMass to freeze tuition and fees for a second year.

Also included in the budget are salary increases for some public safety officials. Only modest raises, though, for Massachusetts prosecutors who are the lowest paid in New England.

The budget provides district attorneys with 15 percent pay raises. That increases their yearly salaries from $148,000 to $171,000. Sheriffs and trial court judges will also get pay raises in this budget, but assistant district attorneys received smaller increases with district attorneys being given discretion to award raises.

The starting salary for an assistant DA in Massachusetts is just over $37,000 a year. In New York and Connecticut an entry-level prosecutor makes about $60,000.

Martin W. Healy, chief counsel for the Massachusetts Bar Association, joined WBUR's Morning Edition to discuss the issue.

This segment aired on July 1, 2014.

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Deborah Becker Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.



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