CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The Finance Committee of the House of Delegates Monday evening approved a $4.4 billion balanced General Revenue Fund budget proposal that includes $97 million in state employee pay raises and fully funds Public Employees Insurance Agency health plans for the coming fiscal year.
House Bill 4019, the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Bill, was advanced to the House floor by a unanimous vote of the committee.
“This is a balanced budget that honors our commitment to public employees to provide the best pay and benefits our resources currently allow,” said House Finance Chairman Eric Nelson, R-Kanawha. “When you combine the pay raises and new funding for PEIA, this budget provides an additional $126 million worth of compensation and benefits to our teachers, service personnel and state workers over the coming year.”
Among its provisions, the bill includes $97.1 million in new ongoing funding to cover pay raises for various classes of state employees for the coming year.
The Budget Bill covers funding for the House’s version of House Bill 4145, which provides a 5-percent pay raise for teachers, school service personnel and State Police. It also provides funding to cover the $2,000 pay raise effective July 1 for correctional officers that was approved in House Bill 4142.
All other state workers will receive a 3-percent pay increase under the House’s budget proposal.
The budget includes the $29 million needed to fully fund PEIA health plans for the coming year – ensuring there will be no changes to premiums, co-pays, deductibles or out-of-pocket expenses for the next year.
“Our budget also includes up to $10 million in new funding for the Office of Drug Control Policy,” Chairman Nelson said. “This is money that will be used to provide additional resources to help combat our state’s tragic opioid epidemic.”
The budget includes:
The Budget Bill was advanced to the House floor Monday evening, where it was read a first time. It will be up for amendments Tuesday and Wednesday, due to an agreement to allow for amendments on third reading. Under this timetable, the House could vote to send the Budget Bill to the Senate on Wednesday.