Justice, Legislative Leaders Remain at Odds Over Budget

CHARLESTON–  The governor’s office says only six Democratic legislators have responded to Gov. Jim Justice’s invitation to meet behind locked doors until they resolve the state budget crisis.

The first-year Democratic governor says Republican lawmakers’ proposed $50 million Medicaid cut threatens $185 million for health care including lost federal funding.

He says some Republicans are crusading to make cuts for ideological bragging rights and ordered the Capitol’s emergency lantern lit, citing the threat to West Virginia’s most vulnerable citizens.

House Speaker Tim Armstead says they’re on the way to passing legislation needed to balance the state budget and that bullying by Justice isn’t leadership.

Senate President Mitch Carmichael says Justice threatened to shut down the government if he doesn’t get his way and he’s trying to scare the public into backing tax increases.

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