CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP/WSAZ) West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is proposing the elimination of a state tax on Social Security benefits but offering significant funding increases for substance abuse, social services and tourism in the next fiscal year.
Justice gave his third State of the State address Wednesday night as revenue figures continue to improve two years after the state was mired in a budget crisis. Figures released Tuesday showed revenue collections were $186 million ahead of estimates at current fiscal year's midpoint.
If passed, eliminating the Social Security tax would mean a $50 million reduction in revenue collected.
The budget includes an additional $25 million for substance abuse programs, $20 million each for social services and state building maintenance and $14 million more for tourism.
Justice also is proposing another 5 percent pay increase for teachers and other state employees.
You can watch the full State of the State address below, along with the Democratic response to the speech delivered by the state minority leaders, Senator Roman Prezioso, D-Marion, and Delegate Tim Miley, D-Harrison.