Gov. Justice extends legislative session

Gov. Jim Justice announced Wednesday the legislative session will be extended by one day in the hopes of reaching an agreement on the budget of the state.

“I hate the fact that I have to sign a proclamation to extend the session for one day,” Justice said in a post on his Twitter account. “Republicans had 60 days to finish budget.”

Justice has also taken to his Twitter account and a press release to announce his displeasure with the leadership proposals in both the House of Delegates and the Senate.

The official website of Justice shows Democratic lawmakers standing around the governor in support of his proclamation of an extra day of session to reach a compromised budget.

The announcement by Justice came after the House and the Senate passed their budget bills Wednesday.

A press release from the governor details the procedure of how Justice is able to announce an extra day of session.

According to the release, Justice issued the proclamation of the extra day for the budget by rules outlined in the West Virginia State Constitution.

Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns, R-Ohio, released a video on his Twitter account responding to the budget Thursday.

In his video, Ferns said the Senate kept two major promises the leadership made at the beginning of the session.

“We passed our budget prior to the 60th day of the session, that’s earlier than any legislature in recent history has passed their budget,” Ferns said in his video on Twitter.

Ferns said in his video the second promise the Senate kept was “passing a balanced budget without tax increases.”

The budget bills, SB 199 and HB 2018, passed their respective chambers and were communicated to the other chamber for consideration Wednesday.

Both bills passed by small margins after much debate. HB 2018 passed the House with a 58-42 vote, according to the West Virginia Legislature website.

The West Virginia Legislature website also notes SB 199 passed in the Senate by a 20-14 vote Wednesday.

Justice said in his press release the purpose of the extended session was to reach an agreement for the budget of the state.

With the proclamation made by Justice, the legislature will now be in session until April 9.

Kylee Hurley can be contacted at [email protected]