CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Democratic Gov. Jim Justice is refusing to sign a budget passed by the Republican-controlled West Virginia Legislature, saying the cuts to state programs and services are still too deep, but he will allow it to take effect.
Both houses approved the $4.225 billion general revenue budget last week after failing to resolve their impasse over tax changes that would have raised revenue and limited budget cuts for the fiscal year that starts July 1.
Justice says there’s too much uncertainty for state workers, retirees and others depending on state services to make them face a government shutdown.
He says the budget will cut state fairs and festivals, provide no raise for teachers he wanted and it won’t help the struggling coal industry without his proposed tiered severance taxes.