UPDATE | W.Va. Gov. Justice approves $4.6 billion state budget
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has approved a $4.6 billion state budget that has money earmarked for a potential teachers' pay raise.
Justice says he signed the fiscal year 2020 budget on Thursday.
State lawmakers passed the budget earlier this month, setting aside funding for a 5 percent teachers' raise in an unappropriated line item that will be addressed in a special session on education.
The Republican governor called the special session and has asked for legislators to go out and seek input from teachers, parents and others before returning to address the raises and additional education issues.
It's unclear exactly when the legislature will come back, but Republican leadership has signaled lawmakers might reconvene in late spring or early summer.
The West Virginia Senate has passed a state budget with money earmarked for a potential teacher pay raise.
Senators approved the budget Friday, ending an impasse by setting aside funding for the 5 percent raises in an unappropriated line item that will be addressed in a special session.
Republican Gov. Jim Justice has called for a special legislative session to be held after the 60-day regular session ends Saturday.
He's asked lawmakers to go out and seek input from teachers, parents and others so legislators can return and address the raises and additional education issues.
The budget now heads to the governor's office.
Earlier this session, The House of Delegates passed a measure dealing solely with teacher raises, but the proposal languished in a Senate committee.
The West Virginia Senate on Monday advanced the 2019-2020 budget bill to a second reading.
Passed easily by the House on Saturday, the $4.6 billion spending bill includes $67.7 million to cover teacher raises, averaging 5 percent overall. The Senate version (SB 150) does not include funding for pay raises for teachers and school service personnel.
A second reading in the Senate is set for Tuesday.
The West Virginia House of Delegates has passed its version of the state budget for 2019-2020 that includes funding for teacher raises.
The House voted 92-5 Saturday afternoon on the $4.6 billion spending bill.
The Charleston Gazette Mail reports a key difference between the House bill and the Senate's is the funding for teacher raises. The House bill passed Saturday includes $67.7 million to cover the raises, averaging 5 percent overall. The Senate version (SB 150) does not include funding for pay raises for teachers and school service personnel.
Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair has said pay raises will be included if and when the Senate passes a House pay raise bill (HB 2730). That bill has been stuck in the Senate Education Committee for more than a week.