CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice today signed an executive order establishing a task force to work on finances for the Public Employees Insurance Agency.
The task force is part of a pledge the governor made on Tuesday to teachers.
Teachers who gathered at the Capitol on Wednesday said they are still having trouble trusting the governor or believing the task force will carry weight.
Justice wrote in a letter that the task force is being formed now and will be appointed by the end of the week “to address and explore all avenues that will lead to a permanent fix for PEIA.”
He added, “A cure won’t come in 30 minutes, but I can promise you this Task Force will begin its work immediately.”
The task force, according to the executive order, would include the governors chief of staff, a current member of the PEIA Finance Board, three members of the state Senate (2 Republicans and 1 Democrat), three members of the House of Delegates (2 Republicans and 1 Democrat), a representative of the American Federation of Teachers-West Virginia, a representative of the West Virginia Education Association and a representative of the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association.
Five more representatives would be appointed by the governor. They include: three full-time state employees, to be appointed in consultation with various public employee associations, and two retired state employees, one of whom should be a retired educator.
Justice wrote that possibilities for shoring up the health insurance program could include additional severance taxes on oil and natural gas, gaming revenue from sports betting, tax dollars being generated from roads projects and continued growth of the state economy.