Gribben v. Kirk
In Gribben v. Kirk, 197 W.Va. 20, 475 S.E.2d 20 (1996), the Court rejected the Legislature's attempt to characterize a judgment against the state for unpaid overtime owed to police officers under certain wage payment statutes as a "moral obligation of the state." Id. at 25, 475 S.E.2d 20 at 25.
Based on the fact that this judgment representing unpaid overtime and interest was a "valid legal obligation of the State," this Court determined that the financial obligation was a "previous liability of the State" under section 4, article X "which must be discharged in a manner consistent with our Constitution." 197 W.Va. at 25, 475 S.E.2d at 25.