Justice, legislative leaders still divided on budget

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) – Nearly two weeks after West Virginia’s Democratic governor vetoed the state budget approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature, negotiations have yet to resolve disagreements on tax changes and spending cuts.

However, Gov. Jim Justice says he’ll call legislators back to a special budget session “soon.”

On Tuesday, he didn’t say exactly when that will be but said that he hopes the framework of a tentative agreement reached earlier with the Senate leadership will still hold.

That would limit funding cuts and lower the state income tax while raising the sales tax to close a projected deficit.

Senate President Mitch Carmichael, in active talks this week with the governor, says that would be a tax cut for all working West Virginians.

House Speaker Tim Armstead says his Republican majority still strongly opposes the framework’s tax increases.

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