Governor vetoes budget bill

Gov. Jim Justice has vetoed legislation that would revise the scope of practice for physician assistants in West Virginia and authorize them to work in collaboration with a doctor rather than under their supervision.

The first two turned out to be a "nothing burger" and "mayonnaise sandwich", referencing some earlier jokes about the budget plan. "We all should take ownership for this, but what we have is nothing more than a bunch of political bull-you-know-what", he said, showing platters with a burger, a sandwich and, finally, a pile of bull-you-know-what.

Justice vetoed the bill theatrically with three props that were brought in trays.

The budget bill passed by the Legislature, House Bill 2018, included no tax increases and spending $85 million less than fiscal 2016.

After vetoing the bill, Justice said he hopes lawmakers will "stop the bull crap".

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But when it appeared no deal was coming and Democrats wouldn't vote for it, Justice said he went "flying up there" to see what happened. It would also apply $90 million from the state's rainy day fund to close a projected budget deficit.

A House analysis describes legislators' $4.1 billion general revenue budget as $60 million lower than the current budget.

Armstead responded with his own demonstration, pulling dollar bills out of his wallet and stuffing them in a glass jar to represent how much more money a Democratic budget would shift from voters to the government. "While it was our hope that the governor would have signed our reasonable and responsible budget, it's clear his vision for West Virginia's future involves a completely different path".

The West Virginia Association of PAs says it would expand access to quality health care particularly in underserved areas.

  • Marjorie Miles