Ashton Marra Published

Justice Hosts President's Son as Budget Negotiations Continue


As lawmakers continue negotiating a budget deal at the state Capitol, Gov. Jim Justice took a trip to Greenbrier and Monroe counties this week to host President Donald Trump’s son, Don Jr., for a hunting and fishing excursion.

According to a press release issued by the Governor’s Office Wednesday, the pair hunted turkey and fished for trout while discussing “the pressing issues facing West Virginia and the United States.”

“We talked about the enormous potential of West Virginia and how we have opportunities to create jobs,” Justice said in a written statement. “The Trumps care deeply about our people and I look forward to working with the White House to get federal resources here to help our state in a number of different areas.”

Meanwhile, members of the Legislature left Charleston Friday after spending two days working on a budget deal for the 2018 fiscal year that begins July 1.

Unable to come to an agreement on potential new revenue needed to close an estimated $450 million budget deficit, members of the House and Senate did agree to take a break to negotiate with the governor and will return to the special session Monday.

Grant Herring, press secretary for Justice, said in an email Wednesday that “the Governor and his team are working on the budget every day.”

Senate President Mitch Carmichael said Wednesday he did not fault the governor for taking the trip, but that he had not participated in all of their negotiations this week. Leadership from both chambers did meet with the governor Wednesday morning.

Lawmakers are required to pass a balanced budget by June 30 in order to prevent a government shutdown that would result in the loss of critical services and the firing of all state employees.