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Senate rejects larger teacher pay hikes; Justice proposes easing PEIA premiums


As at least three southern West Virginia counties announced school closures Friday because of planned teacher walkouts, the state Senate Thursday debated at length, but rejected two proposals to increase teacher pay raises beyond the series of 1 percent hikes sought by Gov. Jim Justice.

That included an amendment to increase the first year of the five annual 1 percent raises to a 3 percent increase, a proposal rejected on a party line 12-24 vote.

Also Thursday, Gov. Justice announced he is proposing a change intended to temper a pending spike in PEIA health insurance premiums, a cost increase that is contributing to what Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso, D-Marion, called a “bad storm arising” among teachers and state employees.