Charleston, WV - Democrats in the House of Delegates continue to fight to restore benefits and fully fund PEIA. Today during the House floor session, Delegate Isaac Sponaugle (D-Pendleton) offered an amendment to Senate Bill 419, Relating to termination of Workers' Compensation Debt Reduction Act, that would have redirected revenue from the Workers’ Compensation surcharge tax on coal, natural gas and oil to the Public Employees Insurance Agency. House Republican Leadership was opposed to this proposal.
The plan would have guaranteed funding for PEIA until an alternative funding source was approved by the Legislature. After certification that PEIA would be fully funded and benefits to recipients were restored to fiscal year 2015 levels, the Workers’ Compensation surcharge tax on coal, natural gas, oil and timber would have been removed.
“Adoption of the amendment would have been a win-win for PEIA recipients as well as for coal, oil, gas and timber in our state- all of which are struggling,” Delegate Sponaugle added. “It is day 43 of the 60-day legislative session- House Republicans have shown that fixing PEIA is not a priority to them, but corporate tax cuts are,” he stated.
“I am disappointed that Republican leadership in the House of Delegates continue to choose big business over West Virginia teachers, law enforcement officers, public employees and retirees,” House Minority Leader Tim Miley (D-Harrison) stated. “While the Republican leadership says one thing while doing another, the Democrats will continue to work to fully fund and restore benefits to the thousands of PEIA recipients across West Virginia,” he pledged.