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West Virginia lawmakers, unions prep for special session on education


The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

Left, House Education Committee Chairman Danny Hamrick, R-Harrison, and, right, Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Patricia Rucker, R-Jefferson.
(West Virginia Legislative Photography photos)

CHARLESTON, W.Va.  — About 12 hours after Gov. Jim Justice called a special session for lawmakers to consider a pay raise for teachers and school service personnel, the chairs of the education committees in the Senate and House of Delegates say it is needed.

The governor announced late Wednesday night his intentions to call a special session for “education betterment.” Justice cited the impending death in the Senate of the 5 percent pay raise for teachers and school service personnel he promised in October before the 2018 general election and had introduced after his Jan. 9 State of the State address to lawmakers.

“It’s very clear to me now that we won’t get to the finish line in the remaining three days, but it’s critically important that we still get there before the new fiscal year begins on July 1, 2019,” Justice said in a statement Wednesday. “In order to follow through on the 5 percent pay raise that was promised we have to take a different path. Tomorrow I will call a special session to focus on education betterment in West Virginia.”

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