Randy Yohe Published

Justice Finalizing Special Session Plans

Governor Jim Justice sits at his desk, gesturing with his right hand. Behind him are the American and West Virginia flags. He is wearing a suit with the top button of his shirt unbuttoned.
When pressed to name some specific issues he might include in the call, Justice instead listed generalities.
WV Governor's Office

Gov. Jim Justice said he will make a decision early next week when he’ll call a special legislative session. In a Wednesday media briefing, he said he was hopeful the session would happen in May. 

Justice has committed to reversing the Medicaid cuts made in a scaled-down budget passed on the last day, in the last hour, of the regular legislative session.

“I don’t know why we did this,” Justice said. “We stripped money out of the budget that was in my budget, that really and truly was there to help, whether it be Medicaid or whatever. There’s so many people that are in need in this state. We’ll put it back for sure.”  

The Legislature passed a so-called skinny budget due to fears over a possible $465 million federal “clawback” regarding federal education funding spent during the pandemic. The U.S. Department of Education eventually granted a waiver, dismissing the “clawback.”  Justice said he told everybody all along the waiver would come. 

“Lo and behold, the sky didn’t fall, did it,” Justice said. “Now all we’ve done is bring a tremendous amount of anxiety and issues to those that are absolutely hurting the most.” 

When pressed to name some specific issues he might include in the call, Justice instead listed generalities. 

I want to see that we take care of our kids, we take care of our seniors, we take care of our vets, we’ll absolutely take care of issues like childcare,” Justice said. 

The last special session called in August 2023 was in response to a Department of Corrections staffing crisis and concerns over first responder funding. Justice however, included 44 proposed bills in that special session call.

A finalized state budget for fiscal year 2025 must be completed by June 30.