Justice Vetoes Lawmakers’ Budget, Criticizes Funding Cuts

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia’s Democratic Gov. Jim Justice has vetoed the state budget approved last weekend by the Republican-controlled Legislature, criticizing the cuts and lawmakers.

Justice, who on Saturday night announced he was near a deal with the Senate Republican leadership to limit budget cuts and overhaul taxes, has formally rejected the spending plan the Legislature subsequently approved.

It would cut spending for the state’s colleges and universities and Medicaid for low-income residents. It would also apply $90 million from the state’s rainy day fund to close a projected budget deficit.

Justice has proposed smaller cuts plus increases in sales and gasoline taxes. The gas tax would fund bonding for road reconstruction and jobs.

Lawmakers will have to return to try to resolve the disagreement, needing two-thirds support to override the veto.