BOISE, Idaho -

An annual report recently released by the Idaho Supreme Court shows that the state still struggles to recruit and retain District Court judges, a problem Chief Justice Roger Burdick says is directly related to low salaries.

Burdick wrote in the report that judicial salaries haven't kept pace with other professions, and that means judge positions have higher turnover rates and empty posts are harder to fill.

The report says the problem will be exacerbated in the next five years, when 60 percent of the state's district judges and eight out of nine appellate judges will reach retirement age. Another 19 judges are currently eligible to retire.

The Judicial Council, which oversees appointments to the bench, has adopted a new policy requiring at least four applicants for empty judicial positions.