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Legislature gives county elected officials pay raise

KEYSER – If Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signs it into law, county elected officials will get a pay raise this July.

House Bill 1005, raising the pay of county elected officials by 12 percent, was passed Friday, March 14, during a special session of the West Virginia State Legislature.

In early February, the Mineral County Commissioners had come out against the raise, saying it will put an unfair burden on already strained county budgets, despite the wording of the legislation which seemed to say otherwise.

According to the bill, a county’s revenue must have increased sufficiently to be able to cover the increased expenses caused by the pay raises.

According to Del. Gary Howell, however, the auditor will only be looking at revenue, and not considering any increase in expenses the county may be experiencing. An increase in revenue, therefore, may not necessarily mean a county has more money in its budget.

In addition, the bill includes the stipulation that elected officials wishing to accept the raise must sign for it; those not signing will not receive the raise. Once that person is re-elected to office, or a replacement is elected, however, the raise becomes automatic.

Howell said the increase for elected officials is unfair to the average working man or woman who may not have seen a raise in several years…

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