Justice To Unveil Initiatives And First Budget Proposal

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Gov. Jim Justice plans to unveil initiatives for West Virginia in an address Wednesday evening at the Capitol and a budget submission for the coming year.

The newly elected Democrat, at his inauguration last month, raised several proposals like tiers for severance taxes on coal and natural gas, a large highways program that could put thousands of residents to work and paying teachers more while giving schools more freedom from state regulation.

Justice will be working with the Republican-controlled Legislature, whose leaders have advocated cutting government to help close a projected $500 million gap in a roughly $4 billion budget.

House Speaker Tim Armstead and Senate President Mitch Carmichael last week both also raised the possibility of eliminating some sales tax exemptions.

The new fiscal year starts July 1.