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West Virginia Gov. Justice to give State of State address tonight


The Herald-Dispatch

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice gives his first State of the State address in February 2017.
(West Virginia Legislative Photography photo by Perry Bennett)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Education reform, a 2 percent pay raise for state employees, and oil and gas legislation are all possible topics for West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s State of the State address Wednesday night following the opening of the legislative session.

The governor was working on his address Tuesday afternoon and would not be giving out any advance details of what he plans to say, said Director of Communications Butch Antolini.

The governor’s Chief of Staff Mike Hall said during a press conference announcing an alliance between the 10 institutions of higher education in southern West Virginia on Monday that some form of education reform would be in Justice’s agenda.

Del. Kelli Sobonya, R-Cabell and assistant majority whip, said Tuesday she predicts the governor will touch on education as it regards to vocational and technical education in order to prepare young West Virginians for the jobs that are coming through the road bond initiative and in the oil and gas industry.

Along those lines, Sobonya expects Justice to pick up where he left off last year to give the Development Office within Secretary Woody Thrasher’s Department of Commerce the ability to better sell the state.

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