(Regional jail correctional officer salaries start at $22,584, and go up to $23,724 after one year, but I don't believe any additional raises are guaranteed after that.)
The officer notes that if the base salary were upped to $30,000 a year, it would solve a lot of problems, including high turnover rates:
"I will tell you that it is a lot harder to give up a $30,000-a-year job than a $21,000-a-year job," he states. "You will get a whole lot better employee than what you will otherwise. Your retention would also be a lot more than it is right now, so that the turnover rate is not through the roof."
Regarding the failure of the governor's Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways to look at transportation alternatives, House Finance Chairman Brent Boggs, D-Braxton, said he would like to see a legislative interim study on the feasibility of commuter rail service between Charleston and Huntington.
He noted that the Intelligent Transit bus service between the cities has proved to be popular, and said his son, Justin, uses it to commute from Huntington to Charleston when his schedule permits.
The difference being that, where a bus can carry 40-some passengers, a commuter train can carry several hundred, potentially putting a dent into traffic congestion (and the need to add additional lanes) to Interstate 64.
(One of the long-term project recommendations in the draft of the State Rail Plan is, in fact, a feasibility study for commuter rail service between the two cities.)
Finally, regarding the U.S. Supreme Court case on the appropriateness of opening governmental meetings with a prayer: I personally don't mind invocations to open legislative floor sessions, but I do object when preachers use it as an opportunity to give mini-sermons ...
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.