WHEELING — State lawmakers representing the Northern Panhandle largely share the optimism for West Virginia’s future Gov. Jim Justice exuded in his State of the State address Wednesday, but House Democrats remain skeptical that the state has made a permanent financial turn for the better.
“A lot of what he said is what I’ve been saying,” said Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns, R-Ohio. “I have been optimistic about this session. Last year was the most challenging session … the most challenging year I’ve encountered at the Legislature. It’s a totally different vibe this year because there’s not the same (budget) shortfall.”
And Justice now has a year of political experience under his belt, according to Ferns.