House Finance Chairman Harry Keith White, D-Mingo, said Democrats might want to amend the funding bill, after a similar proposal from White during session ruffled some Republican feathers.
No changes came of the delay in voting. The magistrate bill passed 55-39 with most Democrats in support and most Republicans against. Armstead, who voted against, said the additional few hours allowed everyone the chance to read the bill and "call back home" to gauge constituent support.
Boggs supported the measure all session. He was disappointed the bill didn't affect more magistrates but thought the study would prove valuable in highlighting the different workloads of magistrates.
The House voted down a motion to have the bill take effect immediately. The pay changes now take effect July 1, but Boggs didn't understand why delegates — by and large Republicans — wanted the delay.
Magistrate pay is determined by population size. Following the 2010 Census, salaries went down for magistrates in four counties in accordance with population losses. The pay cuts took effect Jan. 1.
"Now they're going to have to wait three more months to get restored to that level, but it's still retroactive back to Jan. 1," Boggs said. "So really it was nothing more than a symbolic vote, and I'm not sure why they did it."
White stood when the funding bill was announced, seemingly preparing to read an amendment. Then, smiling, he sat back down as the House instead moved to complete work on the bill.
The bill moves $7.4 million from the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Fund to several places: $3 million to the state Behavioral Health Program; $500,000 to the pharmacy schools at both West Virginia University and Marshall University; and $1.86 million back to Morrisey's office.
Morrisey has repeatedly said the phones and computers in his office are antiquated; $960,000 is dedicated to new equipment, with the rest of the money going to personal services, employee benefits and operating expenses.
The House also approved a bill giving the state tax commissioner oversight authority for local sales, use and excise taxes. The commissioner also has the authority to assess a fee of up to 5 percent on local sales and excise taxes, subject to the approval of the Legislature.
The state Senate convened briefly to approve the bill. Senators unanimously moved to suspend constitutional rules and pass the legislation in one day, before voting 25-9 on the measure.