CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State lawmakers were less than impressed with Gov. Jim Justice’s decision Thursday to veto the $4.1 billion budget they passed last week.
“The comments made by the governor in vetoing this budget were misleading to the people of West Virginia. They were not accurate and they were not what the people of West Virginia deserve from their governor,” Armstead (R-Kanawha) said. “This budget did not cut the waiver program within DHHR and these cuts to higher education, in terms of their overall operating budget, were one to two percent.”
Armstead used a prop of his own–a jar full of money to show what impact Justice’s tax increase plan would have on West Virginians. He then showed his empty wallet.
In a prepared statement, Senate President Mitch Carmichael (R-Jackson) said Justice’s veto was disappointing but not unexpected.
“We remain committed to working with both the House of Delegates and the Governor to control spending. However, any compromise on this budget absolutely must include comprehensive tax reform. I truly believe tax reform is a bold way to move West Virginia forward, and I hope we will have the support of the House of Delegates and the Governor to achieve this goal,” Carmichael said.
Armstead predicted Justice would use theatrics in Thursday’s announcement and he was right. The governor used a pile of cow manure to illustrate what he thought about the spending plan.
Several delegates were not impressed.
— Amy Summers (@AmyMSummers) April 13, 2017
— Jill Upson (@Upson4WV) April 13, 2017
— marty gearheart (@gmrabbit) April 13, 2017
Armstead said Justice guaranteed a special session with his decision.
“In the end, I do not believe the House will agree to his plans and an additional session likely won’t significantly change the original outcome,” Armstead said.
Justice said Thursday evening he’s considering calling lawmakers into special session beginning April 27.