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Reaction mixed to West Virginia Gov. Justice’s State of the State address


Charleston Gazete-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Lawmakers were divided over some of the few policy points outlined Wednesday in Gov. Jim Justice’s State of the State address.

Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, said the speech was top-notch, especially given Justice endorsed his plan for the state to provide free community and technical college for students.

“I thought it was a great speech that’s inspirational, optimistic, and displays the enthusiasm that the entire state of West Virginia is beginning to feel as we march toward this resurgence of a new economy and the prosperity that we can feel in West Virginia,” he said.

House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, offered a more nuanced opinion. While he put his support behind repealing the business inventory tax, calling it one of the last roadblocks to unleashing the economy, he was more reserved with the community college initiative.

“We’ve expressed some concern about the cost of the community college component, but we certainly want and are very dedicated to ensuring that we make community college and trade schools more accessible to students,” he said. “We’ll continue to have a discussion about how we do that within our budget and figure out what we can and can’t afford to in that regard.”

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