WV lawmakers return next Monday for Special Session

West Virginia

On the heels of this year’s 2-day teacher strike, it was widely believed that lawmakers would come back to discuss educational reforms and a proposed 5-percent teachers and school staff pay raise that the governor had promised. But we are now told that delegates and senators are only coming to Charleston to fix 15-bills, unrelated to education, that the governor vetoed for technical reasons.

“It’s very frustrating for us as lawmakers, to try to plan, to try to get ourselves organized, to know what kind of thought process we are coming in with, what we’re going to look at?” said Del. Rodney Miller, (D) Boone.

The educaton reforms and teacher pay raise issues will now have to be considered during another special session in June. But any funding for that has to pass before July 1st, which is the start of the new fiscal year.

“I’m not even sure that June is going to give us enough time to thoroughly sit down and digest everything that our citizens have said, in a way to transform education in West Virginia,” said Fred Albert, President, WV American Federation of Teachers.

Teachers will be on summer break in June, so there’s no strike possible. But thousands may plan to decend on the capitol anyway.

“Whenever the time may be. They will be there making their voices heard,” said Fred Albert, AFT-WV.

One of the vetoed bills that must be fixed, deals with providing legal medical marijuana in West Virginia.

“This is the procolamation the Governor ordered for the Special Session back in March. On the agenda it only lists education reforms and teacher pay raises. Unless something else is added, nothing else can be considered in this session,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.

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