West Virginia lawmakers want ability to cut court budget

March 9, 2018

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia Legislature has voted to bring the state courts’ budget partly under its control, backing a constitutional change that requires voter approval.

The resolution was approved 93-1 on Friday by the House and unanimously by the Senate. It says lawmakers can reduce the judiciary budget up to 10 percent from the previous year but need a two-thirds vote to cut it more.

It says the chief justice has a duty to answer questions about spending.

The state’s five-member Supreme Court has faced recent criticism over $3.7 million spent to renovate court offices over the past several years and reports last year that Chief Justice Alan Loughry took a desk and leather couch home.

Loughry returned them.

In February, the court elected Justice Margaret Workman to replace Loughry as chief.

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