Tempers flare during open meeting in Charleston - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Tempers flare during open meeting in Charleston

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In the 19th day of West Virginia's special session one senator took it upon himself to call out the democratic leadership, but it didn't quite turn out as planned.

The fight to get West Virginia a budget deal is continuing, but today the strains of these special sessions got so bad lawmakers actually stormed out of their meeting.

"I think they acted like the children that they are," said Republican Senator Robert Karnes.

Republican Senator Robert Karnes blamed the current budget issues on decades of Democratic leadership, which Governor Jim Justice says threw off a productive reveal of his latest revenue proposal.

"To be perfectly honest, it went fine until Senator Karnes stood up and made an idiot out of himself and that's all there is to it and made everybody mad," said Gov. Justice.

The governor's new plan is saying to put a 6.5% rise on sales tax, a 20% income tax spread over four years and anyone that makes over $150,000 a year won't receive tax cuts.

As for what was said inside of today's meeting, Ohio County Representative Shawn Fluharty says he won't tell us the particulars, but, "Let's just say a senator from either West Virginia or Florida, I'm not quite sure, decided to make some comments that basically just showed everybody that they weren't serious about negotiations, so we left."

Fluharty went on to say 3/4 of the legislature have all signed the conference committee report with a plan together to approve the deal, but they haven't had a chance to vote on that yet.

"It's a sad day for West Virginia, it's been a sad month, and we're still at a stalemate," Fluharty said. "People are attempting to do tax reform in the middle of a budget crisis, and it's fiscally irresponsible and it goes to the lack of leadership over in the Senate side."

Reporters were not allowed in the meeting, which according to Fluharty is a violation, "If there's a quorom, and we're deliberating over something we may vote over it's supposed to be open to the public."

The Governor's legal staff cited statue 6-9A-3 to say there was no violation, and our political correspondent says he didn't see enough senators leaving the meeting for there to have been a quorum.

With no budget deal set in place, much of the state government shuts down July 1st.

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