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Correctional employee pay raise bill moves in WV House of Delegates


MARTINS BURG, W.Va. – Members of the West Virginia House of Delegates voted Friday on a proposed amendment to House Bill 4142 that, if passed, would increase the proposed pay raise to state correctional employees that have regular contact with inmates.

Eleven delegates moved to amend the bill during Friday’s second reading to give an additional $500 per year, making the overall pay raise $7,500 over the next three years.

The bill was first introduced at the request of Gov. Jim Justice for the proposed “pay equity salary adjustment” due to the difficulty in recruiting and retaining employees of all types by the West Virginia Division of Correction, Division of Juvenile Services and West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority.

In December, Justice declared a state of emergency due to the staffing shortages at the states prisons, jails and juvenile facilities. He also signed an executive order to empower the Military Affairs and Public Safety Secretary Jeff Sandy “to develop and oversee the use of all of his Divisions, to include the West Virginia National Guard, in order to maximize the staffing at this state’s juvenile and adult detention and correctional facilities until legislative and operational remedies can be development and implemented,” according to a press release from the governor’s office.

Delegate and Finance Chair Eric Nelson, R-Kanawha, said at Friday’s House Floor Session that these employees “are deserving of a higher pay raise.” However, he added that the current budget will not support an additional raise. The originally proposed $2,000 raise per three years would already cost approximately $7 million a year and $21 million over three years.

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