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West Virginia legislators ask: Where’s the money for 5-percent teachers’ raises?


The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register

West Virginia Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns, R-Ohio
(West Virginia Legislative Photography photo)

WHEELING, W.Va.  — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced a pay raise deal for all state employees Tuesday that could put teachers back in the classrooms on Thursday, but state lawmakers are awaiting details on where he found $58 million in new revenue to pay for the increases.

Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns, R-Ohio, remembered that during Justice’s State of the State Address at the start of the Legislature, Justice requested lawmakers pass a 1-percent raise for teachers annually each of the next five years — explaining this was what the state could afford.

“This raise (announced Tuesday) is contrary to everything the governor has said to this point,” Ferns said. “Adjusting revenue estimates to achieve a raise that appeases the unions is not fiscally sound.

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