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Governor Commits $100M to PEIA Long-Term Plan, Announces Possible Future Pay Raises

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Less than a year after teachers in West Virginia went on strike for better pay and changes to public health insurance, Governor Jim Justice announced a new plan to help the state employees' public insurance plan.

PEIA, or the Public Employees Insurance Agency, is the health insurance plan for state employees in West Virginia.

Governor Justice announced Tuesday $100M will be put towards PEIA. He also announced that he will introduce a bill to give state employees a 5-percent pay raise during the next legislative session. Lawmakers would have to pass the raise.

In July, a bill became law that gave all state employees and teachers a 5-percent pay raise. This latest raise would be in addition to that.

The commitment to PEIA and the latest raise proposal comes from the state's surplus. Governor Justice says new numbers reveal that the state's first quarter revenue collection from the taxes the state collects shows a surplus of $119M.

The governor says that's the highest first quarter surplus in the state's history.

The teacher strike lasted 9 days this past school year. The governor signed a bill to give teachers in the state a raise, ending the statewide teacher walkout. He also created a PEIA task force to work on a long term fix for PEIA.

You can watch the full presentation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=993&v=v8C_bPk0ZR8