Currently, magistrates who serve populations of 8,400 people or fewer currently make $51,125 a year. Magistrates serving more people are paid $57,500. The bill would eliminate the two-tier system, for both magistrates and members of their support staffs.
House Finance Chairman Harry Keith White, D-Mingo, pointed out Wednesday that money is already included in the state Supreme Court's budget for magistrate pay and can't be used for anything else.
Delegate Tim Miley, D-Harrison, said he believes the bill may still have a shot. He pointed out Kessler is sponsoring an identical bill in the Senate.
"It's disappointing because we spent a lot of time debating it on the floor," he said.
Delegate Patrick Lane, R-Kanawha, said House Republicans knew the bill did not stand much of a chance in the Senate. That's one of the reasons the GOP opposed passing the bill.
Lane, who is minority vice chairman of the House judiciary committee, said the House passed a magistrate pay raise bill in the 2012 session, only to see it fail in the Senate.
He said this week's debates over the bill were just wasted time.
"How much time and energy could we have spent on the real needs of West Virginia?" he said.