For 7 years the Virginia General Assembly has debated increasing the mandatory retirement age for judges in the state. For most of those years, the House or Senate (and on occasion both) passed increases only to see them killed at the last minute or in the final committee of the other chamber. This year was no exception as SB 170 was killed in a House subcommittee last week.
Under SB 170 the mandatory retirement age for judges in the state would increase from 70 to 73. It received robust approval on the Senate side: 13-2 in the Senate Court of Justice Committee, 10-3 from Senate Finance, and 31-8 from the full Senate. As in prior years, however, things bogged down in the House. The House Courts of Justice Committee’s Civil subcommittee had killed a House version of the bill (HB 81) back in February and passed SB 170 only on a 14-7 vote. The bill was then sent onto the House Committee on Appropriation’s Compensation and Retirement subcommittee which last week voted to table the bill on a voice vote, effectively killing it for the year.