HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Inflation is driving up consumer prices and it will drive a big salary increase for Pennsylvania state lawmakers, judges and top executive branch officials in 2022. For many of the positions, it is the biggest increase in three decades.

Salaries across the board will rise 5.6%, a figure tied by state law to the year-over-year change in the consumer price index published last week by the U.S. Department of Labor for mid-Atlantic urban areas.

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It is the largest year-over-year increase since 1991, according to the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The increase applies to more than 1,000 positions, including governor, Cabinet members, three statewide elected officers, all 253 lawmakers and state and county judges. It takes effect Dec. 1 for lawmakers and Jan. 1 for judicial and executive branch officials.

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The highest paid of them, the chief justice of the state Supreme Court, will get a bump of more than $12,000 to almost $234,000.

Lawmakers passed legislation to cancel this year’s annual increase, which would have been less than 1%. Next year’s increase, however, is three times larger than the increase state officials received last year. It comes at a time of steady growth in wages for private sector workers.

Federal data through August showed average weekly earnings for all private-sector workers in Pennsylvania increased 4.4% year-over-year to $974.24.

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