By Roger Adkins, Charleston Gazette-Mail
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Contention over the budget in the next West Virginia legislative session will focus particularly on what to do with a nearly $2-billion revenue surplus.
During his weekly COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday, Gov. Jim Justice said he will present a “flat budget” the first day of the session, on Jan 11. He has proposed raises for teachers and other state government employees.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Eric Tarr, R-Putnam, said in an interview that he plans to propose using the surplus for tax reform. Others in the GOP supermajority have hinted the money could be used for state-backed economic incentive packages to lure large corporations to West Virginia.
The Rev. Matthew Watts, from Charleston’s West Side, plans to make a familiar case for using some of the money to combat systemic generational poverty in the Mountain State. Specifically, Watts said, he wants to see federal coronavirus relief money used to help the communities the virus hit hardest…