West Virginia lawmakers vote to add addiction treatment beds

Posted April 10, 2017

The governor also questioned the legality of the legislation, which would have decoupled West Virginia's casinos and racetracks and permit the tracks to move operations to another location in their current county if receiving approval from the West Virginia Lottery Commission.

"It's very important for us to put a budget before the governor", Carmichael said.

The West Virginia Senate on Wednesday advanced a budget that would cut about $160 million of state spending, including a 15 percent cut in support for West Virginia University.

"We're not there yet, but I really believe we're right on the cusp of an agreement", he said. He said there is a possibility that the rest could be taken out of the Rainy Day Fund.

Justice announced the deal reached with Senate President Mitch Carmichael in a Saturday press conference. Mike Hall, Senate Finance Committee chairman.

It still has to go to the House if it is passed in the Senate, Justice said.

State Revenue Secretary Dave Hardy said that gain was partly offset by corporate net income tax, consumer sales tax and business and occupation taxes that were more than $8 million below estimates altogether.

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He said it expands his total cuts to about $50 million.

However, he added, "If I were a betting man, I'd say it's going to get a big 'X'".

Justice and the Republican-controlled Legislature have disagreed over the 2018 budget.

It would increase the state gasoline tax by 4.5 cents a gallon and start his proposed road reconstruction program aimed at creating thousands of jobs. However, he said it also doesn't cut higher education, the Department of Health and Human Resources or K-12.

Both bills passed by small margins after much debate.

Nelson noted Justice has been unwilling to compromise beyond his $4.394 billion budget plan proposed in mid-March, often referred to as his Budget 2.0.

Now 33 of West Virginia's 55 counties allow it, while 22 disapprove. "With this new pain relief option available, fewer people will need to rely on highly addictive opiates", said Joseph Cohen, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia.