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Justice Requests Authority for Worker Furloughs

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice waves to the crowd as he delivers his inauguration speech, Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, in Charleston, W.Va.
Walter Scriptunas II
/
AP Photo

Gov. Jim Justice is calling for legislation to give him authority to furlough state workers to help address the government's budget deficits.West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice waves to the crowd as he delivers his inauguration speech, Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, in Charleston, W.Va.

The recently elected Democratic governor earlier proposed tapping the state's rainy day fund to close a projected $123 million gap in the current fiscal year.

He has also proposed fractional sales and corporate tax increases to close a $500 million deficit in the year that starts July 1 and a bonding for a billion dollar-plus highway reconstruction program to boost West Virginia's economy.

His latest proposal follows a rating downgrade on state debt by Moody's Investors Service, which will make state borrowing more expensive.

He calls state finances "such a dog's mess" with the furlough legislation needed to stop the negative spiral without his plans in place.


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