The Legislature hereby declares that the Dostert decision and the subsequent decisions of the supreme court of appeals which were based upon the Dostert decision were not and do not constitute sound legal principles, in that they have served to rewrite contractual arrangements found to exist by the supreme court of appeals in the case of Wagoner v. Gainer decided on the fifteenth day of June, one thousand nine hundred eighty-one, and, further, usurped the authority of the Legislature to determine or formulate the public policy of this state as required by article V, section 1 and article VI, section 1 of the Constitution of West Virginia and further usurped the authority of the Legislature to set judicial compensation.
The Legislature hereby states and finds that its intent and policy recognizes a compelling state interest is present in carrying out its constitutional responsibilities of establishing, determining and setting reasonable compensation guidelines and amounts for judicial officers, by law, and of protecting the fiscal responsibility and soundness of the moneys required for payment into the trust fund, as a part of the judicial branch budget request, which is determined by benefits payable from the judicial retirement system, and which judicial budget request may not be reduced by the Legislature, constitutionally.
The amendments now made to the provisions of this retirement system by the Legislature are made within the original and continuing framework of such system and with the benefits hereunder being directed toward those meeting the strict and fundamental requirements of career judicial service on the bench, of military service and service as a prosecuting attorney as granted by this article.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
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