By March 2, 2018 Read More →

West Virginia Senate sends pay raise measure to finance committee


The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

PARKERSBURG, W.Va.  — An increased pay raise for public employees stumbled Thursday in the West Virginia Senate as the Republican majority moved to place that funding in a fund for the state’s insurance agency.

An amended House Bill 4145, which was introduced Tuesday by Gov. Jim Justice as part of a deal to end a statewide, week-long strike by teachers and school service employees, increased an already approved pay raise to 5 percent for teachers and police and 3 percent for all other public employees. Slow movement in the state Legislature Wednesday and remarks by Senate leadership led to the strike being extended to Thursday, with all 55 county school systems closing their doors for a sixth day.

Teachers, service personnel, and other public employees protested Thursday at the state Capitol in Charleston to put pressure on the Senate to pass HB 4145. Instead, Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, announced he would refer the bill to the Senate Finance Committee to review the governor’s revenue estimates and to potentially place the additional $58 million Justice marked for the pay increases into the Public Employee Insurance Agency, or PEIA, stabilization fund.

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