| Gov. Jim Justice announced Dec. 16 ththat he has secured the support of the Republican-led Legislature to give all state employees – including public school teachers and service personnel – a 5% pay raise for the third time since 2018.|
Additionally, Gov. Justice announced that all state employees will also receive a one-time 2.5% bonus to combat the rising costs of inflation. The Governor said the bonus will be known as the Inflatocine – short for Inflation Vaccine.
“As we’ve gone through this horrible pandemic, we’ve continued to kick out surplus after surplus,” Gov. Justice said. “Our state is doing really good. I commend everybody that’s made all the right moves on the chessboard. We want to reward our people for a lot of great work that they’ve done and we also want to continue to help our teachers and make education our centerpiece in West Virginia.
“In addition to this, we have a situation going on in this country with this runaway inflation,” Gov. Justice continued. “So we’re going to do a one-time supplement to try to help our teachers and state employees who are contemplating how they’re going to fill their cars up with gasoline and buy groceries with the inflated prices.”
The pay raise and Inflatocine bonus will be submitted to the West Virginia Legislature in the form of a bill, which legislative leaders announced they intend to support during the 2022 Legislative Session.
The Governor was joined for today’s announcement by West Virginia Senate President Craig Blair and House Speaker Roger Hanshaw.“We are rowing the boat in the same direction, working together as a team, and the coach of this team is the Governor. He’s leading the way,” President Blair said. “He talks about that rocketship. We’re on the rocketship. We just need to keep going and take West Virginia from 50th to 1st place in every category. We’re getting there, and it’s time for us to reward and pay the dividends to these state employees. I’m confident that we’ll have no problems getting this through the Legislature.”“
We do have a lot to be proud of in our state right now,” Blair continued. “We’ve got record low unemployment, record surpluses, record economic development, our pension systems are in the best shape they’ve been in decades, and our state employees are at the forefront of fighting that fight right along with us.”
“We’re happy to be able to join with the Governor today and indicate that, as the House, we do have support for the across-the-board pay raise,” Speaker Hanshaw said.“We know that it’s been a stressful time over the course of these past two years, when people have had to deal with remote work situations that they normally wouldn’t have been accustomed to or have had to work in environments that have not necessarily been conducive to the usual performance of their jobs,” Hanshaw continued. “We have chronic turnover in some of our most important state jobs here in West Virginia. We have to deal with that, and dealing with it in the form of compensation is an important part of that process.”
“The last time we did 5% pay raises, it was the biggest raises we’ve ever done, and we did it in back-to-back years,” Gov. Justice said. “So to be able to do another historic 5% raise, plus our 2.5% Inflatocine bonus makes me incredibly proud.”
Under Gov. Justice’s leadership, West Virginia continues to enjoy an unprecedented era of success and prosperity.
After inheriting a $500 million budget deficit, Gov. Justice has led the state to a string of consistent budget surpluses by using his lifelong experience as a businessman to make West Virginia a more business-friendly state and by standing behind the energy industry. Last month, West Virginia recorded a $88 million revenue surplus, bringing the total fiscal year surplus to $269 million in just five months.
West Virginia has broken the all-time record for lowest unemployment rate in state history in back-to-back months. During the month of October, West Virginia also cracked the top 10 states in the nation for quarterly GDP growth.
Additionally, the Governor’s Roads to Prosperity program is the state’s largest-ever investment in road maintenance and improvement; after 50 years of neglecting its roads, the state has committed more than $2 billion dollars to fixing them. Teachers and state employees have received their two largest pay raises ever – and now another 5% pay raise, plus the 2.5% Inflatocine bonus. The state’s Rainy Day Fund now exceeds $1 billion – another record – and its public pension funds are better-funded than they have been in decades. Thanks to Gov. Justice, Veterans now live in West Virginia tax-free and senior citizens do not face state taxes on social security. The Governor has also led West Virginia through a once-in-a-century pandemic, protecting the state’s most vulnerable citizens. Additionally, increased investments in the state’s tourism efforts have visitation and intrigue in West Virginia through the roof. West Virginia was recently named a top-10 travel region in the world to visit by Lonely Planet; the only state to earn this prestigious distinction and the state was also recently selected as one of the Best Places to Go by Condé Nast Traveler.ShareTweetForward