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WV Press InSight: Could suspension of WV legislative rules impact teachers pay raise bill?

WV Press InDepth talks with AARP WV on legislation impacting residents 50 plus and families

WVPA Staff Report
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Teachers remain on strike across West Virginia – now waiting to see if the West Virginia Senate will support the latest salary plan suggested by Governor Jim Justice and approved by the House of Delegates.

The bill was added to the Senate Finance Committee agenda this morning, March 3. The finance committee meeting follows the Senate’s morning floor session, If the Senate meets again Saturday or on Sunday. The bill could be reported to the floor for a first reading.

In WV Press InSight’s show  this week, hosts Betsy DeBord and Tom Hunter discuss how the Senate could fast track a bill with a suspension of the rules.

HB 4145 would give teachers a 5 percent raise, but the West Virginia State Senate has yet to debate the bill. There is also no guarantee that Senate approval of HB 4145 will end the strike, as PEIA rates continue to be a topic of discussion.

While lawmakers debate the HB 4145, which they hope will end the strike and get teachers and service personnel off the protest lines and into classrooms West Virginia Press InSight looks at the pay raise that has been approved by the Legislature and signed by the Governor.

Regardless of the outcome of the latest wage proposal, West Virginia’s teachers, service personal and state troopers are assured a four-percent salary increase from Senate Bill 267, which gives a 2-percent, 1 percent and 1 percent increase over the next three years. With the strike continuing, few mention that SB 267 has been signed into law and those salary gains locked into the 2018 state budget.

DeBord and Hunter review that salary plan and its impact on the strike situation.

Hunter and DeBord also discuss legislation that has a chance to move this session, legislation that appears dead, and the complex rules that come into play during the final days of the session:

— Suspension of the rules: Traditionally bills must be read on three separate days, with official passage or rejection taking place on the third day. If four-fifths of the legislative body agrees, however, all three readings can take place on the same day.

— Inactive Calendar: Leadership also can place proposals on the “inactive calendar,” which means the bill is not scheduled for consideration. Of course, they can put it back on the active calendar, too.

AARP West Virginia Executive Director Gaylene Miller joins West Virginia Press InDepth host Don Smith to discuss legislation that would impact West Virginians 50 plus and their families. WVPA Photo/Corey Zinn

AARP West Virginia Executive Director Gaylene Miller joins West Virginia Press InDepth host Don Smith to discuss legislation that would impact West Virginians 50 plus and their families.

DeBord and Hunter look at newspaper coverage of other proposed WV legislation, including plans for the Intermediate court and the Supreme Court budget; and the continuing drug abuse problem. On the WVU Today segment, April Kaull outlines a dream job for most West Virginians: An engineer student’s campus work filming WVU athletics. DeBord gives viewers a look at tourism in the Mid Ohio Valley region.

WV Press InSight, this is episode 7, is a video product of the West Virginia newspaper industry and gives viewers look at the coverage provided by newspapers across the state. The print story and video program are featured in print, on websites and social media platforms of newspapers across the state.

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