West Virginia Democrats Say Pay Raises Are Priority

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The West Virginia Legislature’s minority Democratic leaders say the state needs to raise pay for jail and prison guards, teachers and other public workers as priorities.

Addressing the West Virginia Press Association, Sen. Tim Miley says the guards are a particular concern.

In December, Gov. Jim Justice authorized using the National Guard to help oversee juvenile and adult lockups.

Miley says a guard from his district tells him corrections officials are now hiring new personnel with misdemeanor convictions.

Sen. Roman Prezioso, a former school administrator, says teachers are looking about $800 in higher monthly insurance costs that dwarf a proposed 1 percent pay raise worth about $34.

Prezioso says it’s been a calm legislative session so far, “but I’m afraid it’s the calm before the storm.”