The Dominion Post
CHARLESTON — The conference committee on HB 4145 met just after 4 p.m. on March 5 and heard testimony on the governor’s revised revenue estimate of $58 million that led to the House’s 5 percent raise proposal for teachers, service personnel and State Police.
Committee member and Senate Finance chair Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, repeatedly questioned those figures and called them “suspect.” Schools across the state were announcing closures as the meeting progressed and Blair called on teachers to return to work and let the process work out. He said the negotiations will result in some compromise between the House proposal and the Senate’s 4 percent.
No actual negotiations took place. The six committee members agreed to take the discussion back to their respective caucuses and possibly reconvene later in the evening after the evening floor sessions.
After the meeting, union leaders said they would accept no number below 5 percent and the walkout will continue. They blamed the lack of progress on the two Senate GOP members who are holding out for 4 percent. All three delegates and the Senate Democrat all support 5 percent.