CHARLESTON, W.Va. The spokesman for the West Virginia Coalition of Retired Public Employees knows it’s a tough budget year, but Ernie “Spud” Terry is hopeful at the end of the budget process there will be something for thousands of retired state workers.

Terry and other members of CORPE will be at the state capitol Thursday for their annual breakfast with lawmakers and other state elected officials.

“What we’re hoping is that we can just hold on to what we got and get some relief with PEIA and also get a small tax exemption,” Terry said.

It’s been years since most retirees have had an increase in their pension payments or a Cost of Living Adjustment while health insurance for PEIA has continued to go up.

“They’ve increased the out-of-pocket costs for our retirees. Many of our folks are just unable to go get medical help,” he said.

CORPE believes it has a friend in Gov. Jim Justice, Terry said.

“He’s the people’s governor and I think he would understanding to the seniors’ difficulties,” he said.

The group’s annual breakfast meeting begins at 8 a.m. Thursday in the Capitol Cafeteria.

CORPE includes the West Virginia Association of Retired School Employees, West Virginia Public Retirement System Association and West Virginia chapters of the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees; Communication Workers of America; National Active & Retired Federal Employees; American Federation of Teachers, and National Education Association.

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