West Virginia Gov. tells school superintendents Senate must approve pay raise bill

(Image Source: Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 3.0 / MGN)
(Image Source: Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 3.0 / MGN)(KALB)
Published: Mar. 3, 2018 at 3:25 PM EST
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West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice spoke with school superintendents early Friday evening, saying it's crucial for the Senate to pass the 5 percent pay raise bill for state teachers and service personnel.

"You need to stay united together," Justice said. "A no vote has colossal repercussions. A yes vote is a solid win."

The governor said education is the state's top investment, adding that he's concerned the Senate Finance Committee will continue to stall on the pay raise bill.

Friday marked the Day 7 of the statewide teacher strike.

"If they don't do it tomorrow, we spiral off into no man's land," Justice said. "It's a 99 percent chance we're going to spiral into no man's land or it will happen tomorrow."

"We got to get it through the Senate," Justice said. "I’m on it with everything I’ve got and then some."

The governor advised school superintendents to stay in Charleston overnight to monitor the situation in the Senate.

Earlier on Friday, a Senate Finance Committee meeting to discuss the teacher and state service personnel pay raise bill was canceled and rescheduled until Saturday.

Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair made the announcement that the committee will meet again Saturday morning. That meeting is expected to convene one hour after the conclusion of the 9:30 a.m. floor session.