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West Virginia House Finance Committee advances bill to raise correctional officers’ salaries by $6,000


Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va.  — As the House Finance Committee began work Monday on Gov. Jim Justice’s proposed legislation to increase salaries for correctional officers at state prisons, regional jails, and juvenile facilities by $6,000 over three years, one sticking point came up.

As drafted, funding for the increased regional jail salaries — $7.8 million a year when fully phased in — could end up coming from increased per-diem charges to counties for housing inmates.

That could increase per-diem costs, currently $48.25 per day per inmate, by more than $4 a day, state director of correctional operations Joe Thornton told the committee.
Many smaller counties are struggling to the current per-diem rate, delegates noted.

Ultimately, committee members voted to advance the bill (House Bill 4142) to the full House of Delegates, despite the potential funding issues.

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