Justice makes announcements concerning higher education

Gov. Jim Justice has made announcements this week concerning numerous bills and a special session after vetoing the budget bill in April.

Justice has been reviewing much of the legislation passed from regular session and has recently considered educational bills that could affect the state.

House Bill 2815 was a bill suggested by the governor and is summarized on the West Virginia Legislature website as a bill “relating to higher education governance.”

According to a press release issued by the governor, HB 2815 will grant “greater freedom and flexibility” to the larger higher education institutions around the state, including Marshall University and West Virginia University.

Marshall President Jerry Gilbert and WVU President Gordon Gee showed their support of the legislation as they joined Justice as he signed the bill into law.

“It is a momentous day for higher education in West Virginia. We now have more flexibility to grow and transform thanks to HB 2815,” Gee said in a statement on his Twitter page.

Gilbert also weighed in and shared his support of the signing of the bill.

“We appreciate the legislature and Governor Justice’s support of this bill to support excellence in higher education,” Gilbert said in a release.

The bill overwhelmingly passed in both the House and the Senate when both took the bill up for consideration, as shown by the West Virginia Legislature website.

HB 2815 is not the only bill that has been taken up for consideration by the governor after the legislative session.

He has been signing numerous bills into law, while also vetoing bills as well.

Justice recently considered another educational bill, HB 2589, that he decided to veto.

HB 2589 is summarized on the West Virginia Legislature website as, “Permitting students who are homeschooled or attend private schools to enroll and take classes at the county’s vocational school.”

While the governor has been considering the bills passed from session, there has also been much discussion about the budget of West Virginia.

After the recent veto of HB 2018, also known as the “Budget Bill,” it became clear there would be a special session in the near future to discuss the budget of the state.

Justice has recently announced the West Virginia Legislature will reconvene for a special session May 4.

Justice issued a press release making the announcement, and relayed a message of what he expects for West Virginia when considering a new budget plan.

“We have the chance to put West Virginia on a pathway to prosperity in a bipartisan way. The budget can’t just kick the can, it’s got to bring opportunity, hope, and jobs to our people,” Justice said in his release.

Kylee Hurley can be contacted at [email protected]