Magistrate pay moves forward again with a change - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Magistrate pay moves forward again with a change

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The issue of magistrate pay has kept a somewhat low profile throughout the 2013 regular legislative session, and it's now become a bit of a hostage.

The first bill the House of Delegates passed this session, House Bill 2434, would have increased the salaries of 38 magistrates throughout the state. Republican members of the House criticized the vote as a display of misplaced priorities in a session they wanted to focus on job creation.

In the Senate, a different bill, Senate Bill 378, took aim at the pay cuts magistrates and their top staffers received in January in Lewis, McDowell, Wetzel and Wyoming counties because of the drop in population in those counties.

The Senate's bill did away with the two-tier pay system and adjusted the population line for the pay scale, which also would raise the pay in Barbour and Roane counties. That bill passed the full Senate but flopped in the House.

So the Senate's solution is to take House Bill 2434 and insert Senate Bill 378 into the bill, overriding the House version.

The bill will be reported to the full Senate for a vote, and if it passes, would return to the House because of the changes the Senate made.