CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Members of the state legislature completed a 10-item special session agenda within a matter of hours Friday afternoon firming up the state budget and putting framework into place for a county elected official pay raise.

The bills on the governor’s agenda were all part of the recently completed 60-day session but were not approved, some of them running out of time on the final night last Saturday.

The pay raise bill, which would provide up to a 12 percent increase, received the most discussion Friday and some criticism from Republicans.

Officeholders including prosecutors, assessors, county and circuit clerks, could make a written request for a pay raise as early as this summer. The individual county’s finances would have to be certified by the state Auditor before the pay raise would be made available. The county commission would submit the information to the auditor. The money would come from county funds not state funds.

Del. Marty Gearheart, R-Mercer, unsuccessfully tried to amend the bill to push back the raises to 2016.

“Everyone that would receive this raise currently knew what the pay was when they filed for office,” he said.

County Commissions’ Association of West Virginia Director Vivian Parsons told members of the Senate Finance Committee Friday county commissioners could live with the bill.

“As long as we can protect those counties who can afford to do so (give raises) as well as those counties who can’t,” Parsons said.

Lawmakers also passed a bill that deals with waste from the Marcellus shale drilling process. The bill, proposed by the state DEP, would make additional space in landfills available for the waste.

Other bills approved include:

- The bill dealing with lottery distributions, also called the “bucket bill” or “haircut bill,” to save $20 million that will go into the Rainy Day Fund.

- A bill addressing local shares in county school systems within Lincoln, Monongalia and Wyoming counties since there have been penalties tied to improperly assessed properties.

- A proposal that deals with a land account within the state Department of Agriculture.

- Proposed legislation that would correct problems with the Chesapeake Bay bond issue.

- A proposal dealing with the Sexual Assault Nurses Network.

- Four supplemental appropriations bills — two for the current budget and two for the next budget year.

Lawmakers left Charleston after the special session. They aren’t scheduled back until after the May Primary Election when interim sessions begin.

 

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Comments

  • Edie

    Bob- I do have a life and a very good one- Thank you!!

  • Ed

    Elected officials have not gotten a raise since 2006. These people have more responsibility to the public that most other West Virginians, and should be paid for taking this on. If one is not worth a salary you may run against them or support someone who will. If your desire is for the best people to be in office, a realistic wage is needed to attract qualified public servants.

  • Bob

    Edie & Sam,

    If you would educate yourselves instead of looking for any reason to criticize, you would know that all state employees recieved a raise.

    Get a life!

    • Cindy

      No we didn't. The governor recommended a "modest " pay raise for state employees of $504 but they never got around to addressing that during the legislative session. They got stuck on the teachers' & service personnel (in education) pay raises. We are not going to get it though this year. They already announced that the health insurance will not raise this year. If a pay raise were on the horizon...premiums would have raised. We haven't received a pay raise in a few years. It was 2.5% which we lost when they raised the ins premiums. Glad to know they're giving pay raises that weren't even on the agenda. The county magistrates just got a huge pay raise a couple yrs ago & now theyre getting another raise?

    • The bookman

      http://wvmetronews.com/2014/03/14/state-lawmakers-debate-rainy-day-decision-pass-budget/

      Here is a story from a few days ago that confirms a $47M charge to the budget that includes state workers.

    • chuck

      Bob, Maybe you better educate yourself, because all state employees did not get a raise.

    • Jim

      WVDOH workers did not get a raise.

      • the truth

        I think they passed the 504.00 in the special session. Now I would not call that a raise but more of crumbs that regular state employees get.

  • sam

    All state employees should remember this at election time. Enough is enough.

  • Edie

    Oh yes, lets forget about a pay raise for the State employees.
    I am waiting for the next election- as others are that work for the State.

  • TB

    If it didn't pass in the regular session then it shouldn't pass at all. That is the purpose of a time limit on a session.

  • CaptainQ

    Really had to sneak that pay raise in there, didn't they? I wonder if next year the legislature will use this same 'method' to pass higher (and new) taxes so they won't have to listen to us taxpayers moan and whine about it?

    Wouldn't surprise me a bit.

  • sam

    maybe wvmorannews could post the salaries of the elected officials who make over poverty level. lets debate that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Aaron

    The faster they get out of Charleston, the better off we will all be.

    • Mac

      And just think - YOU & I put them in there! We have got to wake up, people!

    • Fed up

      I remain proud to be a Mountaineer and reside in WV. However, I am also confident that someday the good ole politics, corruption and graft will be eradicated like a disease and will be replaced by honest and genuine representatives. I doubt it. But remain hopeful. Start the replacement program as soon as possible at the next ballot box.

    • sarah

      +1 lol