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West Virginia legislators Ward, Caputo, Longstreth react to tense day


Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — While West Virginia teachers and service personnel rallied in the hallways of the Capitol on Thursday, Marion County legislative representatives were working hard in session.

Gov. Jim Justice recently passed a pay raise bill for teachers, school service personnel and the State Police. The measure calls for a 4 percent pay raise over three years for teachers and a 3 percent raise over two years for all others. This meaning that teachers will receive 2 percent the first year and 1 percent each of the next two years, and the others will receive 2 percent the first year and 1 percent the following.

Delegate Linda Longstreth (D-Marion) emphasized that these professional employees are needed in the state. She said they were hoping to give state and public employees more of a raise than what was signed by the governor, “but it takes a majority to pass any legislation.”

“The Governor froze PEIA benefits for 18 months so hopefully we will find the extra resources during that time to fix it,” she stated Thursday evening. “We hope they all keep the faith and continue to do the jobs they love.”

Longstreth said thousands of people attended Thursday’s day and evening sessions at the House, where a bill was passed that day to fund PEIA using 20 percent of surplus each year.

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