House Speaker Rick Thompson, D-Wayne, said his chamber did not hold up the TIF bill solely in order to force the Senate's hand on magistrate pay raises, however.
"I don't think that's exactly true. I think there's a reluctance in the number of TIFs that could possibly be going out there," he said. "I think they were willing to look at that, but there is some genuine reluctance to giving additional tax breaks."
Thompson said he was disappointed that other bills did not get passed either, including his own bill relating to worker compensation for volunteer fire departments. He said the House very much wanted to raise magistrate pay this year, however.
"I think the magistrate equalization bill has been an issue in this body as long as I can remember being speaker. And I think truly the House wanted to get that issue resolved this year. The entire leadership team thought that was important, to resolve the issue, one way or the other," he said.
The House's version of the magistrate pay raise bill would have equalized the pay of all state magistrates and their staff members.
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 have brought all magistrates into that top pay tier.
The move would have required $737,000, but House Finance Chairman Harry Keith White, D-Mingo, said all the funds needed for the raise are included in the state Supreme Court's budget for magistrate pay and can't be used for anything else.
The Senate amended the House's bill, however, so it would not equalize all magistrates' pay. Their version of the bill would have raised the pay of magistrates in six counties, four of whom saw pay cuts following the 2010 census.
Miley said last week the Senate's changes to the legislation might not work for House members.
Thompson said he did not want to speculate on whether or not there would be a special session for the TIF bill but thought an agreement could be found if one was called.
Jason Pizatella, the governor's legislative director, said Tomblin has not yet decided if he will call for a special session and likely won't make a decision until he meets with legislative leaders.
Pizatella said Tomblin's priority is the budget bill, which will be taken up this week in the extended session. The current session extension, which runs through Friday, can be used only to discuss the budget bill.