Lawmakers propose a raise for Washington State Patrol

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Lawmakers in Washington have proposed a pay raise for the state's patrol officers.

A new bill, Senate Bill 6547, would raise salaries for employees of the state patrol by 7.5 percent over three years and says patrol salaries have to be competitive with other local law enforcement agencies. It would also make the state patrol create an outreach and marketing plan to recruit new officers.

The patrol previously said they struggle to recruit troopers and that many new hires leave for other law enforcement agencies that pay better. A report commissioned by the Legislature and released in December found troopers are underpaid and unhappy with the agency's management.

The bill has bipartisan sponsorship, including Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville.