I recently had the opportunity to visit the Lakin Correctional Center in Mason County. As I do with every visit in my district I asked questions, met with staff at all levels, and inspected the facility throughout the day. Out of hundreds of conversations I had while there, every single person said the same thing: “CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS & EMPLOYEES NEED A PAY RAISE.”
I’m a conservative, and it has been my goal to operate an efficient government that spends your tax dollars wisely. However, the situation West Virginia has found ourselves in is too dire to ignore with hundreds of crucial positions which cannot be filled.
It’s common sense. All our neighboring states pay officers more money—it’s no wonder why many people in Mason, Jackson, or Cabell County drive across the border to work in Ohio. This Legislative Session, one of our top priorities must be to give a much-needed pay raise to Corrections.
Delegate Joshua Higginbotham (R), is West Virginia’s youngest lawmaker and represents District 13 (which falls in Putnam, Mason, and Jackson counties.)