Gov. Justice to call lawmakers back into special session on budget May 4

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice says he will call lawmakers back into special session on the state budget on May 4. (WCHS/WVAH)

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said he plans to call the Legislature back into special session to tackle the state budget May 4.

“I think we are on the pathway to something. I’m calling everybody back a week from tomorrow – a week from Thursday,” Justice said during a news conference Wednesday.

The governor said he believes a budget deal can be reached.

“We are on the verge of doing something, if we could just get everybody to buy in. We could do something everyone can be proud of,” he said.

Lawmakers and the governor have been at odds over the state budget, with the governor pushing for tax increases that he said would create revenue and generate 48,000 highway jobs when new roads are constructed. Meanwhile, the Legislature passed a budget that included steeper cuts and no tax increases. The governor maintains the reductions would hurt the state and leave the state with another huge budget hole in the future.

Justice raised the ire of lawmakers with some of the props he has used in past news conferences. In those prior news conferences, he introduced three covered platters to show his dissatisfaction with lawmakers’ budget – a “nothing burger,” a mayonnaise sandwich and a plate containing “political bull you know what,” which was actual cow manure.

At the start of Wednesday's news conference, Justice’s chief of staff, Nick Casey, recapped the governor’s first 100 days in office.

The governor said he would not answer any questions at the end of his news conference, saying he had dozens of bills to sign, the last day he could do so.

Watch the full news conference here:

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