‘Essential’ Personnel, Government Services Funded Under House Proposal

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia’s House has passed legislation that would fund state government services and personnel considered “essential” and protect the benefits of other state workers who would be furloughed if the new fiscal year starts July 1 with no budget adopted.

The House, voting 82-2, would fund essential personnel from unspent funds in existing government accounts.

State Police who patrol or investigate crimes would keep working, as well as jail guards, state hospital employees, highway emergency personnel and some other law enforcement staff.

State agencies and departments would designate other essential workers and others considered non-essential.

The Republican-controlled House and Democratic Gov. Jim Justice have been unable to resolve budget differences over taxes, spending and closing a projected $500 million deficit in the coming year.