Contractors who bid on road projects in West Virginia would have to pay a 5 percent tax, if a proposal from Governor Justice becomes law during a special session. The Governor then wants that tax revenue to fund drug treatment and prevention programs to fight the state's opioid crisis. Some lawmakers like the idea:
"Just in my graduating class, we've probably lost five or six people to overdoses. And to see that spread out across the state, it's something we need to address and aggressively address. And I wish we would have addressed it during regular session," said Del. Andrew Robinson, (D) Kanawha.
But there could be some legal complications. House Speaker Tim Armstead wants to fund more drug treatment, too. But says it's possible that money raised for roads; can only be used for roads.
"There are some constitutional provisions that require that certain funding in relation to roads, go to the road fund," said House Speaker Tim Armstead, (R) West Virginia.
Meantime a special session later this month, does have an item where there is widespread agreement. The plan is to reduce or eliminate state income taxes, for people receiving veterans benefits.
"I think we could do that in one day. I really do. I believe that there is a great deal of support," said Speaker Armstead.
"When you come through and you serve your country like that. We should come back and give you the benefit of that when you come back to West Virginia," said Delegate Robinson.
Lawmakers could return to the capitol on August 20th when they are already scheduled for their interim session.
"Every one here is trying to be mindful of the cost and the fact that the last special session lasted 20 days and cost taxpayers over 800 thousand dollars," said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.