By Steven Allen Adams, The Parkersburg News and Sentinel
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — With tax surpluses in West Virginia already nearing half a billion dollars one-fourth of the way through the current fiscal year, Gov. Jim Justice said he was confident that the state can swing a fourth pay increase for state employees.
Speaking during his Tuesday COVID-19 virtual briefing from the State Capitol Building, Justice said he would once again propose legislation in 2023 for a 5% average pay raise for public employees and in the executive branch, West Virginia State Police troopers, teachers, and school service personnel kicking in next July.
“At the end of the day, what I really hope is we can get through the fourth pay raise of another 5% to all of our state employees and then before I go out the door, if we can continue to stay on a good path and continue to do well in the State of West Virginia, I’d like to do the fifth, but we’ll see,” he said.
Justice and the West Virginia Legislature have pushed through 5% pay raises in 2018, 2019, and earlier this year. The first 5% pay increase came about after a teacher and school service personnel strike when lawmakers offered a smaller pay increase. But Justice was proactive in offering 5% pay raises prior to the 2019 and 2022 regular legislative sessions…