Senate majority rejects quick vote on raises

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia Senate has voted 20-14 against immediately considering legislation that would provide a 5 percent pay raise to teachers — a key part of the deal negotiated between Gov. Jim Justice and union leaders to end the statewide walkout that has closed public schools for a week.

The Republican-controlled House voted 98-1 on Wednesday night to pass the bill.

All but one member of the Senate’s Republican majority voted Thursday not to follow suit and instead refer the bill to the chamber’s Finance Committee for review and consideration.

Sen. Tom Takubo, a Charleston Republican, says they have to be fiscally responsible and the more important issue is finding a funding source to stabilize the public employees’ insurance plan.

Sen. John Unger, a Martinsburg Democrat, says it will be the Senate’s fault for delaying and causing the strike to keep schools closed again Friday.