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Committee approves raising judge retirement age

The Senate Court of Justice Committee has approved raising the mandatory retirement age for Virginia judges from 70 to 73.

The panel, by a ten-to-five vote, approved the measure offered by Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax, and incorporated a similar bill offered by Sen. John Edwards, D-Roanoke. Petersen said the bill would save money by delaying the need for new hires and would retain qualified judges who are still willing and able to work full time.

Petersen, writing in his blog, said the Assembly can always decline to re-elect a judge who is not doing the job or who should retire.

Senate Bill 740 now goes to the Senate Finance Committee.

The Courts panel also approved a Boyd-Graves-recommended bill, SB 982,to expand the liberalized rules for introducing medical records and bills when a general district case is appealed to circuit court.

Another Boyd-Graves measure won approval. SB 983 would allow into evidence statements from literature even if not relied upon by an expert.

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