H. B. 3321
(By Delegates Palumbo, Manchin, Amores,
Staton, Webster and Morgan)
[Introduced March 25, 2005; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new section, designated §51-2-13a, relating
to creation of the Judicial Compensation Commission; providing
for the appointment of Commission members; providing that the
Commission makes recommendations to the Legislature concerning
the salary of Magistrates, Judges and Justices.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new section, designated §51-2-13a, to read as
ARTICLE 2. CIRCUIT COURTS; CIRCUIT JUDGES.
§51-2-13a. Judicial Compensation Commission.
The Judicial Compensation Commission is hereby created. It
consists of five members who have been residents of this state for
at least ten years prior to the date of appointment. The Governor
shall appoint the members, no more than three of whom shall be
members of the same political party. Members shall be broadly
representative of the public at large. Members of the Legislature and officers and employees of the state, or any county,
municipality or any other governmental unit of this state,
including the judiciary, are not eligible to serve as a member of
Each member of the Commission serves a term of five years,
except for the members first appointed, one member serves for one
year, and one each for terms ending two, three, four and five years
after the date of his or her appointment. As the term of each
member first appointed expires, a successor is appointed for a five
year term. Any member may be reappointed for any number of terms,
and any vacancy shall be filled by the Governor for the unexpired
term. Any member of the Commission may be removed by the Governor
prior to the expiration of the member's term for official
misconduct, incompetency or neglect of duty. The Governor shall
designate one member of the Commission as Chairperson. The members
of the Commission serve without compensation, but shall be entitled
to be reimbursed for all reasonable and necessary expenses actually
incurred in the performance of their duties as members.
The Commission meets every year and shall, within fifteen days
after the beginning of the regular session of the Legislature in
the year two thousand six and within fifteen days after the
beginning of the regular session and each second year thereafter,
submit by proposal, to the Legislature, its recommendation for
compensation and expense allowance for all members of the judiciary
of this state, including Magistrates, Circuit Court Judges and
Supreme Court of Appeals Justices.
Once the Commission submits a proposal for compensation to the
Legislature, the Legislature shall act on the proposal and either
enact the proposal into law or reject the proposal: Provided,
That, in rejecting a proposal, the Legislature may reduce the
recommended compensation but may not increase it.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide for the creation
of the Judicial Compensation Commission. The purpose of the
Commission is to make recommendations to the Legislature concerning
the level of salary for magistrates, judges and justices.
This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.