Gov. Justice Adds Worker Protection Bill to Legislators’ Agenda

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Gov. Jim Justice has added to this week’s legislative budget session a bill to protect state employee benefits should the government have to furlough them when the new fiscal year starts July 1.

According to the governor’s office, furloughs will be required if there is no budget in place by then.

Justice says it wouldn’t be right for state workers to lose benefits including health insurance coverage.

Republican legislative leaders negotiated last week with the Democratic governor’s office in an attempt to resolve disagreements.

West Virginia’s House most recently rejected Senate-passed and Justice-supported legislation to cut state income taxes and raise sales and corporate income taxes to close a budget deficit.

Another contested provision would raise the gasoline tax 4.5 cents a gallon to help fund major highway reconstruction.