Jim Justice on Budget & Economy
And I prayed a lot. And I truly give the good Lord the credit for all the good ideas, and I'll take the credit for the bad ones. But 23 months later, we're here today, there's been lots and lots and lots of hard work. Didn't have anywhere to go. Had to cut. Had to cut to balance the budget.
Well, we haven't had any cut budgets recently, and we're not going to have one today either. Today, we have things that are so good, so pluses. No new taxes. Did you hear that? No new taxes.
You're going to see a budget that is increased less than the rate of inflation, a budget that is increasing significantly less than the economic growth of our state. And you're able to announce--the biggest in the State's history--a surplus bigger than we've ever had before.
[When you keep digging a hole, you eventually get stuck in the bottom of the hole]. We are such in the hole that we got to quit digging. We got to quit working against one another.
Now, this year, you're going to have to cut the Rainy Day Fund $123 million more. No way around it. Right now.
We've got real problems. I don't mean this in any bad way, but we've got an 18-carat dog's mess, don't we? We do. I didn't create the dog's mess. I have inherited the dog's mess. And I am telling you, you have to have real direction and real ideas and real cooperation together to be able to get out of this.
Justice wants to limit lawmaker pay to a total of 5 work days for any special session dealing with the budget and ban all fundraising while the legislature is in session. If it takes longer than 5 days to pass a budget during a special session, the lawmakers will not get paid for the extra time it takes.
"I am too impatient to watch the politicians bicker for months and months and see nothing get done," said Jim Justice. "The budget mess in Charleston proves that we need to impose a tighter timeline on the legislature because they wasted too much money and created uncertainty for our families. On the farm, I've put in many 18-hour days, and I think lawmakers should do the same."