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Gov. Justice to let budget bill become law without his signature

By Andrea Lannom

The Register-Herald of Beckley

 CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice said he plans to let the budget bill become law without his signature.

Justice announced his decision in a Wednesday press conference, calling the budget bill a “travesty.”

“I think we have a travesty,” Justice said. “I think as best as I can tell you from the bottom of my heart, I can’t sign this.”

The budget represents the House’s vision from earlier that week with a few changes.

The budget stands at $4.225 billion, spending $85 million less than the current fiscal year. It does not cut the K-12 school aid formula or Medicaid health care waiver programs that benefit elderly and disabled residents.

The budget rearranges line items including surplus funds from lottery, excess lottery and takes about $12 million from the Senate’s savings account to fill in some of the effects to Medicaid.

It also does not include funding for the Save Our State fund, teacher pay raises, or tourism increases, as contemplated by the governor.

The bill cuts the entire budget for the Women’s Commission. It also makes some cuts to the Division of Culture and History and West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

— Email: [email protected]; follow on Twitter @AndreaLannom

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