Governor Justice Vetoes Budget Bill


 Governor says it's time for lawmakers to grow up and stop playing politics

CHARLESTON, WV – Governor Jim Justice signed a veto message Thursday saying the budget bill passed by the Legislature was nothing more than “a bunch of political bull you-know-what” as he unveiled a tray that had a large piece of bull manure placed on a copy of the budget.

Surrounded by more than two dozen business, labor, education and citizen’s rights leaders and advocates from across the state, Governor Justice said the Legislature’s budget “would do nothing but hurt West Virginians not help them”.

“I’ve tried really hard for 60 days. I’ve been all over the state and it’s taken a lot of energy,” Governor Justice said. “At the end of the day we ended up nowhere.”

“Now if what we’re going to do is still end up nowhere then the decision is real simple,” Governor Justice added. “I can just take the budget as it is now and sign it and sign our death certificate and then just say I’ve done everything that I know I can do.”

Using white boards, Governor Justice detailed the plan lawmakers put in front of him.

“I want to show you just how detrimental the budget we have in front of us is,” Governor Justice said.

He noted the following:

  • No Teachers Pay Raise

  • No Veterans Retirement Exemption

  • No Additional Tourism Marketing Funds

  • Massive cuts to programs for the poor, disabled and senior citizens including a $39.7 million cut to Medicaid that will also cause the state to lose an additional $178 million in Federal funds

  • Major cuts to WVU, Marshall, all Community and Technical Colleges and all other Colleges and Universities

  • Major cuts to public education (K-12)

  • Cutting Racetrack Purse funding (Horses)

  • Elimination of funding for the Women’s Commission

  • Major cuts to Corrections ($7.6 million), the State Police ($1 million) and Public Broadcasting ($1 million)

  • No significant funding to help address the state’s growing drug epidemic

  • No support for a Roads Building program that would create 48,000 new jobs

  • No $8 EZ-Pass

  • No tiered Severance Tax on coal and gas

  • Raiding the already depleted Rainy Day Fund of another $90 million that will continue the downgrading of the state’s bond rating

  • $31.7 million in Fake Money (that would remove $14 million for Greyhound Breeders despite a Gubernatorial veto)

  • A projected $406 million hole in the FY 2019 budget

Governor Justice went on to tell Legislators that they need to stop playing games and get serious about the task at hand.

“There is something that goes on in this great building that I don’t like,” said Governor Justice. “We seem to think its ok to not tell the truth. We think we can just not tell the truth and that’s just politics. Or we think we can play games and its politics. There are people here that are a bunch of junkies and they love it. They live for it. They think its great stuff."

“But you know at the end of all the games there’s a name out there, there’s a family out there and we’re hurting them,” Governor Justice added. “We’re hurting them with the games. West Virginians deserve a budget that will allow them to prosper.”​

HB 2018 Veto Message_Budget.pdfHB 2018 Veto Message.pdf

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