News · Virginia General Assembly

Monday Notes: Senate Committee looks at two percent pay hike

Two percent. That’s the pay increase for K-12 and higher education teachers under a proposed budget by the Senate Finance Committee. The measure was adopted Sunday.

The House Appropriations Committee approved additional monies to schools, including higher education, but did not include raises. Both budgets also reinstate the three percent pay loss state employees suffered last year during the budget shortfall. No inclusion of a one-time one and a half percent bonus for state employees as recommended by McAuliffe back in December.

Governor McAuliffe said he shared the idea of increasing state employee compensations. He also urged both chambers to remember teachers, who earn about $7,200 less in the Commonwealth than the average teacher nationwide.

The overall raise would be the largest for educators in nine years if continued. Both measures are up for vote on Thursday.

Meanwhile,, the Senate plan dissolves about $500,000 from Attorney General Mark Herring’s budget. The cut, largely from the Republican side of the Senate, said it is an answer to Herring’s staff raise program, something Republicans saw as a work-around.

According to the AP, Herring used forfeited funds from Abbott Laboratories, converting the funds into savings for some staff members. Salaries increased over $10,000 in some cases.

And … all eyes on northern Virginia today as Metro, the DC transit service, had a multitude of issues to begin the morning after the Super Bowl. Lawmakers in the House Transportation Committee expressed optimism toward the Metro Safety Commission. DC has already approved the committee and Maryland is slated to do the same this legislative session.

Part of the stall was language in the measure. The new language says the Commonwealth’s transportation secretary can have open conversations with the jurisdictions involved in Metro in order to create the reform measures directed by the commission.

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