CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Advocates of a bill to give elected county officials a substantial raise say it’s overdue considering 11 years will have passed since those leaders received their last pay hike.
“If this happens, it will be effective Jan. 1, 2017,” said Jackson County Clerk Jeff Waybright.
Waybright is among those who has been courting lawmakers about the idea. Senator Herb Snyder has sponsored and is shepherding the bill, which won approval in the Senate Government Organization Committee. The most attractive feature to lawmakers is the increase in pay would not come at a cost to state taxpayers and therefore has no fiscal note.
“It’s based on the county and the revenue side and expenditure side,” said Waybright. “If a county has additional revenue in which they can show the auditor they can afford to give the increases based on their budget, then a county would qualify.”
Snyder, during the debate in the Government Organization Committee, said in some counties those in elected positions are earning less than employees in subordinate positions. The legislation also reduces the classifications of counties from 10 to five based on the total assessed value of properties within a county.
“It’s going to be dependent from county to county,” said Waybright. “Not every county may qualify, but it doesn’t become effective until Jan. 1, 2017, you’re looking at three years of value. We don’t know who may get it and who may not.”
The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration and may face a difficult test in the house.