By PHIL KABLER
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Despite many delegates dismissing a 2 percent pay raise package as inadequate or merely symbolic, the West Virginia House of Delegates passed its pay increase proposal for teachers, school service personnel and other state employees on a 98-1 vote Tuesday.
Senate Bill 267 now heads back to the Senate, which on Feb. 2 advanced its version of the bill with only 1 percent raises, effective July 1.
Delegate Isaac Sponaugle, D-Pendleton, said he is very disappointed that better pay for teachers, service personnel and other state employees evidently is not a priority for the Legislature.
“We’ve got businesses we’ve got to take care of, intermediate courts we need to prop up,” he said, referring to proposals to roll back state inventory taxes on some businesses by $140 million a year and to start an intermediate appeals court that the West Virginia Supreme Court has estimated will cost more than $10 million a year to operate.
By comparison, the first year of the House’s 2 percent pay raise would cost about $46 million, with the Senate’s 1 percent proposal costing half that amount.
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