CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – Gov. Jim Justice issued a statement after both Democrats in the House and Senate asked him to resign if he couldn’t get the job done.
West Virginians need to ask themselves, “are things better in West Virginia since I took office?” Look at the highways, the revenue numbers, the changes to our education system. This state is on the move like you can’t imagine.
Shame on the lifetime politicians for their mean-spirited remarks calling for my resignation. These political lifers have been there forever, accomplished nothing, and kept us in 50th place.
Since I took office, I turned a $500 million deficit into a revenue surplus, without cutting our budget to the bone. I changed the footprint of education by removing red tape and giving control back to the counties. I proposed and signed into law a 5% across-the-board pay raise for our teachers and state employees. I proposed the Roads to Prosperity Constitutional Amendment, and the people of West Virginia passed it with 73% of the vote. I’ve directed a massive amount of state resources to attack the opioid epidemic. I got our veterans the long overdue state income tax exemption for their retirement, and our correctional officers the pay raise they all deserved.
I want nothing for myself from being Governor. I don’t take a salary or PEIA, I don’t need business connections or the next hot tip. I drive myself everywhere I go, without taking a dime from the state.
Without any question, our state is on the move. We have hope, and we have brighter days ahead. From the moment I took office, I have not stopped working to pull us out of 50th place. Goodness is coming to our state, and I intend to remain in office as your Governor to fulfill my promise to the people of West Virginia.
House and Senate Democratic Caucus Leaders Demand Governor Rise to His Responsibilities
“The Governor’s Office has been plagued by dysfunction,” House Minority Leader Tim Miley (D-Harrison) stated. “The Governor has failed to pay his taxes, refused to place his assets into a blind trust and has made several controversial hiring and firing decisions, including the hiring of an EQT board member and media mogul as a part-time minimum wage employee,” he said.
“Governor Justice’s administration has poorly handled flood recovery efforts, placed a gag order on all state agencies and strictly limited the amount of information shared with the public and the media,” Senator Roman Prezioso (D-Marion) added.
Earlier today, Governor Justice’s administration announced that Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher has resigned at the request of the Governor. The Department of Commerce has been the center of the controversy with flood recovery efforts and RISE WV. “Governor Justice likes to fire people instead of accepting any blame that his absenteeism keeps him out of touch with what is happening at the Capitol,” Senator Prezioso stated. “Recent news articles have shown that the Governor’s Office was well aware of the issues with RISE WV and flood relief- yet no action was taken until a legislative committee publicly raised concerns,” Prezioso continued.
“Apparently, Governor Justice is trying to control the message- and wants to hear nothing but praise from everyone around him, including the press, elected leaders and agency leaders,” Delegate Miley stated. “This is not good government- our state deserves access and transparency with strong, capable leaders who respect, but do not cower to, the executive.”
“In life, if you don’t show up to work and pay your bills or taxes, then you’re called a deadbeat,” Delegate Isaac Sponaugle (D-Pendleton) stated. “Currently in West Virginia, you’re called Governor.”
“The lack of any work by our Governor is destroying the productivity of state government,” Sponaugle continued. “He should resign so someone else can do the real work of Governor – someone who won’t be content with just the title only,” he said.
“Being Governor of our great state is not a part-time job, and this level of dysfunction is unacceptable in state government,” Prezioso stated. “I believe that Governor Justice’s chronic absenteeism is to blame.”
“At a minimum, Governor Justice should be at work – and if he can’t be bothered to come to the Capitol to do the job that people of West Virginia elected him to do, then he should resign from office,” Miley urged.