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Opinion: House leadership optimistic break will foster budget compromise, prevent waste

Release from the  W.Va. House of Delegates
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Leaders of the House of Delegates today said they believe the 10-day break in the Legislature’s special session will foster a compromise on the state’s budget situation while protecting taxpayers from having to pay the $35,000-a-day cost to continue the session.

House Speaker Tim Armstead

“We have said repeatedly and clearly we thought calling a special session to push a tax increase plan that had no support in the House was a mistake by the Governor,” said House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha. “After rejecting this plan again tonight, and reaching an agreement with the Senate to adjourn for 10 days, I am confident we can now get everyone to the table and work on a realistic plan that has a chance of passing this Legislature.”

The House late Friday voted for the second day in a row to reject the tax-increase plan – this time in the form of a 59-34 vote against Senate Bill 1004<>. The House voted last night<> to reject a similar version of this plan.

“The House again sent a powerful message to the Governor that we want to go in a different direction,” said Majority Leader Daryl Cowles, R-Morgan. “It’s time for everyone to come to the table, listen to one another, and work together to pass a compromise that respects the views of all of the people’s elected representatives.”

Both the House and Senate agreed to a resolution<> adjourning the special session until May 15 to allow lawmakers to work toward an agreement that respects the views of all parties involved.

“The important thing about this break is that we will be able to have the input from all lawmakers but without the $35,000-a-day cost of having a daily floor session in Charleston,” Speaker Armstead said. “Taxpayers don’t want to see us wasting any more of their hard-earned money on a special session, and this break will help us find a solution without wasting more of their money.”

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