CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The state House of Delegates has granted nearly $45,000 worth of raises.
The House also has hired Eddie Belcher, a former regional representative in southern West Virginia for Govs. Joe Manchin and Earl Ray Tomblin.
Belcher will make $30,000 a year as a legislative assistant. He will handle constituent services, among other things, House spokeswoman Stacey Ruckle said.
Fourteen House staffers received a total of $44,982 in pay raises recently, according to figures released by the House.
"There have been several staff changes in the House during the past few months, including vacancies and shifts in job responsibilities," Ruckle said.
The largest raises go to top aides to House Speaker Rick Thompson, D-Wayne, and House Majority Leader Brent Boggs, D-Braxton.
Boggs' assistant, Jennifer McPherson, will go from $33,109 to $42,500 a year, a $9,391 raise.
Boggs' former assistant, Tom Bennett, was made the East Wing supervisor last year, a reference to the Capitol wing where most House members have their offices.
Bennett recently left the House altogether to become assistant vice president for university and legislative relations at West Virginia State University.
Dan Kimble, Thompson's chief of staff, received a $7,705 raise and now will make $98,000 a year.