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By Brad McElhinny, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice said lawmakers should run his proposed pay raise bill for teachers and other public employees by itself.

“I just wish my bill would be considered and this omnibus bill would be out of the way,” Justice said during a news conference today.

He did not say he would veto the bill.

“First of all, I don’t think it will ever come through in the condition it’s in.”

But pressed...


By Brad McElhinny, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Just a few minutes after a coalition of educators asked to slow down a broad-ranging education bill for a full hearing, the Senate majority voted to bypass what normally would have been the next step in the committee process.

The education bill instead will be considered by the full Senate, acting as a committee.

Debate over the motion made by Senate Majority Leader Tom Takubo, R-Kanawha, lasted about...


By Brad McElhinny, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — After a five-hour meeting, the Senate Education Committee passed out a 140-page bill meant to alter many aspects of West Virginia’s school system.

The vote shortly after 6 p.m. was a party-line 7 to 5. The bill was reported to the Senate floor with a recommendation that it be referenced next to the Finance Committee. There has not yet been an estimate of the bill’s financial  

Democrats on the Senate...


By Brad McElhinny, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — One big education bill hit the West Virginia Senate, eliciting excitement and wariness.

The “omnibus education bill” has been discussed almost as a mythical creature in Capitol hallways ever since the regular legislative session began.

“This is a really big bill,” said Senate Education Chairwoman Patricia Rucker, whose committee got a ...


By Brad McElhinny, WV MetroNews


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Senate President Mitch Carmichael confirmed today’s rollout of one big education bill including promised pay raises for teachers, increased flexibility to open charter schools and a requirement for teachers to sign off annually on union dues.

It also would include “differential pay,” allowing for higher wages for teaching fields considered crucial but hard to fill. And it allows teachers’ personal...