McCuskey wants raises independent of Justice’s proposal

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State Auditor J.B. McCuskey wants to provide raises to his staff independent of Gov. Jim Justice’s proposed 1 percent raise for state employees.

McCuskey said before the Senate Finance Committee Monday while his office appreciates the idea of giving raises, he wants raises to go to employees that have “merited such raises.”

“We applaud the governor for his initiative and look forward to providing our employees with a raise, but we believe it should be done through the auditor’s own initiative as opposed to through a line item in the governor’s budget,” he said.

Justice proposed the increase during the Jan. 10 State of the State address, in which all state employees would receive an average 1 percent raise, with teachers receiving a raise every year for five years.

McCuskey added he oversees an independent constitutional office, thus meaning raises should fit under the office’s budget.

“We are more than happy to offer a 1 percent raise to our employees, but we believe it should be done under our own budgetary restrictions as to ensure the independence of both the auditor’s office and any other constitutional office in that way,” he said.

McCuskey also said the auditor’s office has made available $1.5 million to be returned to the general revenue fund.