Justice, legislative leaders remain at odds over budget

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Gov. Jim Justice says budget cuts outlined by the state’s Republican lawmakers will hurt West Virginians and invited legislators to meet behind locked doors until they resolve funding issues.

The first-year Democrat says lawmakers’ proposed $50 million Medicaid cut would chop about $185 million of health care including lost federal funding.  He says Republicans on a crusade to make cuts for ideological bragging rights don’t represent most West Virginians.

House Speaker Tim Armstead says his chamber is well on its way to passing legislation needed to balance the state budget and that bullying by Justice isn’t leadership.

Senate President Mitch Carmichael says Justice threatened to shut down the government if he doesn’t get his way and trying to scare the public into believing $450 million of tax increases are needed.

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