Gov. Justice’s budget clock ticking down as legislature reaches halfway point

The West Virginia Legislature has officially reached the halfway point of the 60-day regular session.

The Senate and the House have continued to introduce and consider many bills, but Gov. Jim Justice has recently made statements regarding his outlook about his budget proposals.

The governor recently posted a “Budget Clock” to his official website and has had screens placed around the Capitol for all to see his countdown.

According to a press release found on Justice’s website, the clock counts down the days until the final day of session, which also indicates the time the House and Senate members have left to pass a budget.

Justice took to his Twitter account on Monday to discuss the budget, writing, “33 days left & the clock is ticking! We can’t keep kicking the can. West Virginians want JOBS & PROSPERITY!”

Besides the budget proposals, the House and the Senate members have been discussing a wide variety of legislative proposals for West Virginia.

This week in particular, the delegates passed House Bill 2509 on Monday. The bill then went to the Senate for further discussion and was introduced Tuesday.

According to the West Virginia Legislature website, “The purpose of this bill is to permit a physician to prescribe controlled substances when using telemedicine technologies.”

House Bill 2509 was then sent to the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee for further discussion, according to the West Virginia Legislature website.

In relation to the topic of controlled substances, House Bill 2579 was also passed in the House this week and reported to the Senate.

The West Virginia Legislature

website states, “The purpose of this bill is to increase the penalties for transportation of narcotics and certain controlled substances into the state.”

According to the legislative website, the bill was introduced Wednesday and was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.

In the Senate, Sen. Sue Cline and Sen. Ron Stollings introduced Senate Bill 546 Wednesday, which can be found on the West Virginia Legislature website.

According to the website, “The purpose of this bill is to create an emergency text number system for children to escape violence and other emergencies and declaring that this be known as ‘Constance’s Law.’”

This week, many other topics have been discussed concerning proposed legislation, as well as completed legislation.

Justice is still making it known through press conferences, press releases and on his social media accounts that he is still waiting on actions from the House and Senate on the budget of the state.

Justice took to his Twitter account to release his statements on the halfway point of the session again Thursday.

“We were all promised a budget from @wvlegislature by today. 30 days left in session and still no budget!” Justice said in his post.

As seen on Justice’s budget clock and the West Virginia Legislature calendar, the Senate and the House have until the final day of session on April 8 to discuss the budget and other legislation.

Kylee Hurley can be contacted at [email protected]