Legislature Takes Second Recess in Special Session
Legislative leaders in both the House and Senate have agreed to a 12-day recess in their special budget session while they continue to negotiate a deal with Gov. Jim Justice.
Members voted to adjourn until June 5, leaving the leaders of both caucuses in both chambers to continue to work on a budget plan.
Justice said in a press release Wednesday evening that he would be “holding a mediation session” with the Republican and Democratic leaders Thursday morning. The release describes Justice putting the four party heads in separate rooms "travel[ling] from room to room as the mediator-in-chief."
House Speaker Tim Armstead wasn’t aware of the details of the “mediation” process when he spoke with reporters after his chamber’s vote to send its members home, but he did say he believes the negotiations would be more positive than some during the past few months.
“The House felt very excluded from this process in the beginning and the concerns that they brought forth once they were included began to gain support within both the Republican and Democrat caucuses," he said.
"So I hope that that will ensure that both the Republicans and Democrats in both houses are at the table.”
Lawmakers have a June 30 deadline to approve a budget bill and avoid a government shutdown.