Randy Yohe Published

W.Va. House Democrats Call For Special Session To Remedy Multiple Crises

Man in blue suit standing and talking
Doug Skaff Jr., on the House of Delegates floor.
Perry Bennett/WV Legislative Photography

In a letter delivered Tuesday to Gov. Jim Justice, the House Democratic Caucus urged the chief executive to call a Special Legislative Session during the August interim meetings.

The caucus suggests the session focus on the state’s corrections and foster care employment shortfalls and what they call a higher education funding crisis.   

The letter reads:

“With the surplus that you (Justice) announced this month, we should address these challenges that for far too long have gone unaddressed. A $1.8 billion surplus doesn’t do much good for the 8,000 children in foster care if we don’t act to help them. The surplus won’t help our colleges and universities offset their shortfalls if we don’t act to help them. And the surplus won’t help our struggling corrections workers if we don’t act to help them by finally adjusting their outdated pay scale.”  

House Minority Leader Doug Skaff, D-Kanawha, said these are all non-partisan issues.

“Regardless, if you’re a D or an R, it’s about helping West Virginians,” Skaff said. “Whether it’s higher education and our students, or those trying to find people to fill all the vacancies in our correctional facilities. We’ve got to quit kicking the can down the road. It’s going to continue to get worse. I know for a fact there’s, there’s institutions of higher learning right now deciding if they’re even going to be open this fall or not.”

Justice has said he wants a consensus before talks on corrections and has talked of progress in foster care hiring.

The interim meetings are slated for August 6 to 8 in Charleston.