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West Virginia Senate nixes vote on striking teachers’ raises

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — With West Virginia’s public schools closed for the seventh straight class day from a teachers’ strike, the state Senate Republican majority has refused for the second time to vote on legislation to give them a 5 percent pay raise.

Hundreds of teachers and supporters, including students, are rallying at the Capitol for the settlement negotiated earlier this week by Gov. Jim Justice and union leaders including the raise.

Teachers are protesting pay that’s among the lowest in the nation, rising health care costs and a previously approved 2 percent raise for next year after four years without one.

The Senate’s 20-13 vote leaves the bill in its Finance Committee, which has begun drafting a budget for the next fiscal year.

The Republican-controlled House passed it 98-1 on Wednesday.

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