Coach' Justice calls for WV to win in second State of the State address
Phil Kabler, Charleston Gazette-Mail
With members of his Greenbrier East High School girls basketball team leading a cheer on the House of Delegates floor, Gov. Jim Justice in his second State of the State address Wednesday declared, “We’re on our way, let’s go get it done.”
Using whiteboards to show the six years of budget deficits projected when he took office in 2017, and the current six-year plan showing state budgets in the black, Justice said before the joint assembly of the House and Senate, “You can’t fathom how dire it was, and you can’t imagine how promising it looks.”
Like last year’s address, Justice’s 49-minute speech Wednesday evening was unscripted, jumping from issue to issue.
If there was any semblance of a theme, it might be that Justice is honored to be called governor but prefers being called coach.
“I coach for the players; I don’t coach for myself,” he said. “The people of West Virginia are the players.”
A year after calling for $400 million in tax increases to deal with a looming budget crisis, Justice told legislators Wednesday, “My request for a tax increase would be zero-zero,” holding his hands aloft to form a zero.