On The Legislature Today, Gov. Jim Justice has signed a proclamation to extend the regular session by one day, allowing lawmakers more time to come to a budget agreement.
During a press conference at the Capitol today, Justice said he was disappointed that a budget compromise hadn’t already been reached.
In recent weeks, Justice has pushed what he calls a four-pronged approach to balancing the 2018 budget. It includes increasing taxes on the average West Virginian, cutting government, increasing taxes on the wealthy, and creating a new business tax. Steven Roberts, president of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, joins us to discuss his group's support of that plan.
Senators also put their budget bill to a vote today, but unlike the House, their spending plan doesn’t contain any new revenue.
Members of the House have approved a tax reform bill that leadership says is crucial to balancing their 2018 budget. As passed by the Senate, the bill swiped about $12 million in sales tax revenues that typically go to the state Road Fund, but it’s been drastically changed since and now pulls about $140 million in new revenues into the House budget plan.
The lobbying group Protect West Virginia and it’s partners gathered on the capitol steps this morning to denounce the Legislature’s budget proposals, arguing that they would be “disastrous for West Virginia families, businesses and communities.”