Legislator’s Reveal Budget Proposal

CHARLESTON– West Virginia’s two top lawmakers unveiled the legislature’s budget proposal Monday that they said avoids the tax increases recommended by Gov. Jim Justice and attempts to get a handle on the state’s money woes by controlling government spending.

The plan revealed by House Speaker Tim Armstead and Senate President Mitch Carmichael is for a $4.05 billion budget compared to the $4.5 billion budget recommended by Justice. Lawmakers’ version also is without the $450 million in tax increases proposed by the governor.

To balance the budget, lawmakers are proposing the following changes to Justice’s budget bill: elimination of the “Save Our State” fund, saving $105.5 million, not including Justice’s proposed 2-percent teacher pay increase, saving $21 million, foregoing justice’s $5.6 million tourism advertising increase and more.

The governor released a statement in response to this budget saying,

“Bless their hearts, but the Legislature’s framework will not save the patient. What we saw today from the House and Senate only kicks the can around the block. It doesn’t give our classroom teachers a pay raise, it doesn’t increase tourism advertising, it doesn’t bring jobs, and it lacks the tools to jump start our economy.
“The clock is ticking; let’s work together to pass a responsible budget that brings jobs or we will die 50th. My Save Our State plan will get us out of this budget hole and put us on a pathway to prosperity.
“I’ve heard a lot about the need for more cuts, but I haven’t heard any specifics from the Legislature.”
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