For the sixth year in a row Virginia’s General Assembly votes on whether to increase mandatory judicial retirement age

I noted just before the 2011 sessions started that Virginia’s legislature has struggled mightily to agree on a plan to increase the state’s mandatory judicial retirement age of 70. Whereas most changes to mandatory judicial retirement ages have been approved, or at least sent to the voters, within 1 or 2 legislative years, Virginia is now entering Year 6 in its efforts to amend Virginia Code 51.1-305(B1) which not only sets 70 as the mandatory age for judges, but for members of the state Corporation Commission who are also members of the Judicial Retirement System. Each year since 2007, changes have been approved at the committee level, even obtaining one-chamber passage, only to be killed or left to die at the end of the session.

This year the two vehicles are HB 163 and SB 95 with both raising the retirement age from 70 to 73 and eliminating the special provisions related to the Corporation Commission. Earlier this morning the Senate Committee on Courts of Justice approved its version on an 11-3 vote. The House Committee on Courts of Justice, Civil Subcommittee is set to vote on it later this afternoon. This vote is critical as it was the civil subcommittee which killed the House version last year on a 5-5 tie vote (with 1 abstention). This year’s subcommittee may be more welcoming. Of the 9 members of the 2012 committee, 4 voted in favor of the 2011 plan, 2 voted against and 1 abstained. Assuming those 7 delegates vote the same way, that leaves the decision to two delegates first elected in 2011.

Update 1/16/12 @ 5:29 PM – The two newly elected delegates voted against, resulting once again in the bill’s failure to pass due to a tie vote (4-4, 1 abstention).

Details of prior years efforts below the fold.

Year

Bill number

Change from/to

Final status

2007

SB 977

70 to 75 for judges taking office after July 2007

Approved by full Senate. Died in House committee.

2008

HB 783

Original: 70 to 75 for judges taking office after July 2008; Amended: 70 to 73 for judges taking office after July 2008

Killed by full House

2008

SB 19

Original: 70 to 75 for judges taking office after July 2008; Committee amended: 70 to 75, all judges; Floor amended: 70 to 75, eliminates special provisions related to Corporation Commission.

Killed on Senate floor

2008

SB 34

70 to 75

Incorporated into SB 19

2009

SB 856

70 to 75

Killed on Senate floor

2009

HB 1818

70 to 75, eliminates special provisions related to Corporation Commission.

Killed on Senate floor

2010

HB 1189

Senate committee amendment: 70 to 73, eliminates special provisions related to Corporation Commission.

Killed in conference committee

2010

SB 206

70 to 73, eliminates special provisions related to Corporation Commission.

Approved by full Senate. Died in House committee.

2010

HB 126

70 to 73, eliminates special provisions related to Corporation Commission.

Approved by full Senate. Killed on tie vote in House committee.

2010

SB 44

70 to 76 for District Judges only

Incorporated into SB 206

2011

HB 1497

70 to 73, eliminates special provisions related to Corporation Commission.

Killed on tie vote in House committee

2011

HB 1890

70 to 73, eliminates special provisions related to Corporation Commission.

Died in House committee

2011

SB 1066

70 to 73, eliminates special provisions related to Corporation Commission.

Approved by full Senate. Killed by House committee

2012

HB 163

70 to 73, eliminates special provisions related to Corporation Commission.

Vote in House Committee on Courts of Justice, Civil Subcommittee 1/16/12.

2012

SB 95

70 to 73, eliminates special provisions related to Corporation Commission.

Approved by Senate Committee on Courts of Justice 1/16/12.

 

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  1. Pingback: Effort to increase judicial retirement age fails for 7th year in a row in VA, faring better in other state legislatures » Gavel to Gavel

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