CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK)—On Thursday, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice held a press conference to announce that he will work with the state legislature to pass a 5% pay raise for all state employees in the next legislative session.

Justice said that even though there may be some disagreement on the details, the state legislature is prepared to unite to pass this raise.

Governor Justice said that he and state lawmakers want to reward all the hard work done by state employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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.”

Justice said that the legislature would also work to give state employees a one-time “inflation vaccine.” This means that state employees would receive a one-time bonus equal to 2.5% of their annual pay.

West Virginia House Speaker Roger Hanshaw released the following statement:

The majority of members of the West Virginia House of Delegates have indicated to me this week they would support a 5% pay raise for all state employees.

We have much to be proud of and to celebrate here in our Mountain State, but we also must recognize our challenges. We all understand the important work our public employees do and have faithfully executed in the face of extraordinarily stressful circumstances.

I appreciate the governor starting early in discussing ideas for the 2022 regular legislative session, and our members look forward to debating other proposals once we convene next month.”

West Virginia House Speaker Roger Hanshaw