Budget Approval Announcement

https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2022/06/21/virginia-youngkin-signs-budget-tax-cuts/

Passed and signed! The budget has passed both Chambers and has been (ceremoniously) signed by Governor Youngkin. The increase for the Department of Magistrate Services was included!!

Thank you to our legislators and executive branch leaders! Former Governor Northam included the proposal, the Republican party lead House included the increase in their version of the budget; the Democratic led Senate included the increase in their version of the budget; The Chambers came together and included the increase in the final version sent to Governor Youngkin. Governor Youngkin will sign the final budget and here we are.

Thank you to Director Green, Executive Secretary Hade, Magistrate Regional Supervisors and Magistrate Advisors for your work with developing the proposal and for the submission to former Governor Northam!

*The Department of Magistrate Services budget increased from FY22’s amount of $32,747,182 (HB29, Virginia General Assembly Budget Bill. Accessed May 25, 2022) to FY23’s amount of $38,333,727 for 423.20 positions and FY 24’s amount of $38,528,011 for 423.20 positions. HB30 and SB30. Virginia General Assembly Budget Bill. Accessed May 25, 2022; (http://publicreports.dpb.virginia.gov/rdPage.aspx?rdReport=BDoc2022_Agency&iptAgency=103&rdAgReset=True) Accessed December 16, 2021.

*The Magistrate Retention Plan included $2,956,493 for “salaries and other officials”, $427,509 for “employer retirement contributions – VRS defined benefits program”, $225,876 for “federal old-age insurance for salaried state employees”, $39,617 for “group life insurance”, $33,113 for “retiree health”, and $18,035 for VSDP and long-term disability insurance”.

The Executive Secretary is required to report on the allocation of the funds and their effectiveness in addressing the workforce challenges in the Magistrate System. This report is due no later than October 15, 2023. The report is “due to the Governor, Charis of the House Appropriate and Senate Finance and Appropriate committees, and the Director, Department of Planning and Budget.” http://publicreports.dpb.virginia.gov/rdPage.aspx?rdReport=OB_DocView&Param1=72763616

*According to the Magistrate Retention Plan “increasing current employee salaries to a base level of $54,000.00”, “currently approved, but vacant positions, an assumed salary of $44,000”, “magistrates with 2-4 years of experience would receive “$55,000”, “magistrates with 4-6 years of experience would receive $55,500”, magistrates with “6-8 years would receive $56,000.00” magistrates with “8-10 years would receive $56,500”, magistrates with “10 or more years would receive $57,000.00. http://publicreports.dpb.virginia.gov/rdPage.aspx?rdReport=OB_DocView&Param1=72763616

We have not received details on how this plan will be implemented. Update 7/5/2022: The increase takes affect on July 10, 2022, and update 7/6/2022: Chief Magistrates are not included in the targeted increase or the length of service increase. 

There will be a five percent salary increase in each year of the biennium for state employees, university faculty including adjunct faculty and graduate teaching assistants, and state supported local employees, except those employees who will be receiving a targeted salary increase at or above 7.5 percent in fiscal year 2023. Those employees who will be receiving a targeted salary increase at or above 7.5 percent in fiscal year 2023 based on funding authorized in this act and are not employees of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services shall receive a 2.5 percent increase on July 10, 2022, and an additional five percent increase on June 10, 2023. https://budget.lis.virginia.gov/item/2022/2/HB30/Introduced/1/483/ (accessed 5/31/2022).

Thank you all for your patience, support, stories, membership, and time. The VMA made its first request for a pay increase in 2019 and again in 2021. This is huge for magistrates. The VMA will continue to advocate for fair pay and appreciation for magistrates.

*denotes that Chief Magistrates are not included.

We are listening. Help us develop a set of issues to fight for in 2022.

"I love my job duties and the purpose of the Magistrate's role - that is why I stay"

- Anonymous, Magistrate

"I worked as a Magistrate for almost 5 years, and left the system in 2016. One of the main factors in my deciding to leave was the salary. The salary barely allows Magistrates to live comfortably on their own, and it likely impossible to raise a family solely on the salary of a magistrate. Unlike other people who work nights, weekends and holidays magistrates don’t receive any deferential pay or time and a half. When I left the offices were becoming increasingly busy and the tasks of Magistrates were also increasing, but no additional magistrates were being added. This made it difficult to get time off, and led to burn out."

Anonymous, Former Magistrate