He said Republicans have been criticized in the past for attempting to short-circuit the committee process by discharging bills from committees to the House floor, and said waiving a committee reference is equally disrespectful of the process.
"If we're talking about working together and respecting each other, there are some things that must be done," he said. "Let's not selectively respect the committee process."
The lead sponsor of the bill, House Judiciary Chairman Tim Miley, D-Harrison, said he didn't think the measure was controversial, particularly since the House passed the same legislation in 2012.
The bill would eliminate two tiers of salaries for magistrates and staffs, with magistrates in counties with populations of 8,400 or larger making $57,500 and magistrates in smaller counties making $51,125.
Because of population declines, magistrates in Lewis, McDowell, Wetzel and Wyoming counties received pay cuts to the lower salary tier as of Jan. 1.
Miley said he didn't think the bill needed to go to Finance, since the funding is already built into the state Supreme Court's 2013-14 budget. Constitutionally, the Legislature cannot cut the budget of the judicial branch.
As drafted, the bill would give raises of $6,375 to 48 magistrates -- including restoring salary for 10 magistrates who received pay cuts Jan. 1 -- and smaller increases to 76 magistrate clerks and assistants.
House Majority Leader Brent Boggs, D-Braxton, called for a spirit of cooperation Monday.
"We do no good for anyone if we're going to attack people for basically trying to move a bill forward that passed this House last year," he said.
Last year, the magistrate pay bill passed the House 65-30, but died in the Senate Finance Committee.Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.