Gov. Justice Says He Will Veto Current Education Bill If It Passes

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said at a news conference Tuesday that would veto a proposed omnibus education bill in the state Senate if it crosses his desk in its current form that bundles a 5 percent pay raise and money for public employees insurance with other education reforms, including charter schools.

“Well, first of all, I don’t think it will ever come through in the condition it is in,” Justice said.

But Justice said the education bill being considered in the Senate is creating e a “food fight for next to nothing.”

Justice said he does not supporter paycheck protection, severability in which the whole bill would fail if one aspect is successful challenged and charter schools that are in the bill. He said he wants to see his bill go through that provides a 5 percent pay raise for state employees, including teachers and school service personnel, and money for PEIA with no strings attached.

The governor said there are some aspects of the bill that he would support at a later time for discussion. He said education has made strides but certainly can use some improvements.

“The omnibus bill is not the governor’s bill. My bill was clean as possible. It was simple – give the 5 percent to all employees. My bill did not have all of the bells and whistles,” Justice said.

As far as charter schools, he made clear he does not support them currently.

“We have not by any means perfected our public schools,” he said.

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