CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The third time wasn’t a charm for county elected leaders. On the last day of the 2014 Legislative session SB 379 failed to make it out of a conference committee.

The legislation called for pay raises for county commissioners, county clerks, sheriffs, circuit clerks, assessors and prosecutors. The 12 percent raise would have taken effect starting in 2017, 11 years after their last raise.

Patti Hamilton, the executive director of the West Virginia Association of Counties, thought the bill had a good chance. The Senate passed it unanimously. The House gave it the green light by a wide margin with a few changes, but when it went back to the Senate it didn’t get any traction.

“The surprise was that the Senate, at the very late hour of 11:30 p.m., refused to concur with the House amendment,” explained Hamilton.

She said, after weeks of lobbying for the bill, elected county leaders were shocked.

“I know the county officials that worked very hard on it, who were there to the bitter end, were beyond disappointed. They were devastated,” stressed Hamilton.

They pay raises wouldn’t have come from state coffers. It would have come from county money. The auditor could only sign off on a raise if the county had additional cash to pay for the increase.

Hamilton said she still can’t figure out what happened.

“I worked on a pay raise bill in 2002 that was 10 percent. I worked on one in 2006 that was 20 percent. Why this has become so difficult, I couldn’t tell you,” said Hamilton.

However, she knows one thing for sure.

“They’ll try again next year.”

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  • Vince

    WV working people screwed again. By their worthless leaders. I bet they make sure all their buddies get a kick back. Politics is corruption to the core. Earl Ray needed some money to bail out all druggie Carl. Also Capito and Manchin needed the money to help big corporations. Wake up sleep before it is too late.

    • Slapshot

      It is amazing that these "working people" seem to have been screwed. They run for a few year term knowing their job will be gone shortly, while teachers, most who dedicate their lives to your children, seem to be the scum of the earth while they are expected to teach your kids to become productive in society. Amazing where comments come from on this site.

  • Bill Hill

    Aww Gee that's too bad. From what I read and see in the media a raise is about the last thing they need. I know that is the case in Hardy County at least with our commission

  • Paul

    They are electednot to make a life time job form it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Kevin

    It's funny that it didn't pass but like magic there is money every time the senators and the congressmen need a raise.... How does that work??? Hum

  • John

    This would have just been another state mandate handed down to the counties, but with no money to pay for it. The Legislators are good at this trick, so it surprised me that it didn't pass. Most counties are in the same boat as the state is when it comes to extra money that is not budgeted.

    • Rich

      Read the bill, John. It would have allowed the raises only after the county submitted financial statements to the State Auditor, who would then have to certify that the county had sufficient funds to cover the pay raises. On top of that, each county official would have to apply for the pay raise.

  • DWL

    Have never found one that was worth a plug nickel. I thought they were doing it out of service to their community, not to rape and pillage their constituents. Not even a kiss!

  • Joe

    If they cannot figure out why it did not pass, they are much more out of touch than I thought.

  • Mason County Contrarian

    Considering their accomplishments, could not a pay reduction be in order?

    • CaptainQ

      Can't argue with the truth!


      • teufel

        Im in too !

        • Mason County Contrarian


    • Big Jim