West Virginia House passes teacher raise, Senate voting

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s Senate is voting on a 5 percent pay raise for teachers and troopers in a deal aimed at ending a nine-day walkout that has closed schools statewide.

The House already approved the deal in a vote of 99-0 on Tuesday.

Governor Jim Justice said “I believe in you and I love our kids” to the teachers after the deal was made, and plans a news conference later Tuesday.

West Virginia’s teachers are among the lowest paid in the nation and haven’t had a salary increase in four years. Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair said they’ll need to cut state spending by $20 million to pay for the raises by taking funds from general government services and Medicaid.

Other state workers will have to wait for a budget bill to pass before getting their 5 percent raises promised under the deal.