Justice extends West Virginia legislative session

Francis Osborne
April 10, 2017

Bates said he expected the House to accept the version of the budget passed by the Senate just before midnight, but that budget will likely be vetoed by the governor.

It came as the Republican-controlled Legislature tried to wrap up this year's work, but remained divided with Democratic Gov. Jim Justice over a state budget and revised taxes.

West Virginia's tax collections from coal and natural gas production in March topped $40 million, exceeding original budget estimates by $13 million and showing continuing recovery from past year, officials reported Thursday.

The West Virginia House has followed the Senate and voted to end any doctor's ability to waive the legal requirement to notify parents of an underage daughter's abortion.

Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project, who is a West Virginia native and graduate of West Virginia University, said "This will be an important and, in some cases, life-saving program". Unlike an earlier version, the latest bill doesn't specify establishing 600 more treatment beds.

Under the amended measure, qualified patients will be permitted to obtain cannabis-infused oils, pills, tinctures, or creams from a limited number of state-authorized dispensaries.

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Both also voted to criminalize "revenge porn", posting someone's intimate or sexually explicit images without their consent.

"It doesn't hurt us - it doesn't cut into the bone", he said.

On Wednesday, the Senate advanced a budget that would cut state spending, including a 15 percent drop in support for West Virginia University. The first bracket begins January 1, 2018 and calls for taking personal income tax down 20 percent of its current rate. It also didn't make cuts to higher education or to secondary school education, while providing a pay raise for teachers.

"If we get ride of greyhound racing, it will mean job losses and fewer people coming to West Virginia", Justice said.

The plan includes a graduated income tax reduction starting in 2018, coupled with a one percent increase to the consumer sales tax.

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

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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