CHARLESTON, W.Va.-(WTAP) Several West Virginia lawmakers, including a local senator, want Governor Jim Justice to call a special session to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.
File image of the West Virginia House of Delegates
A writ of mandamus filed Friday with the state supreme court says the governor is using a state of emergency declared in March to expand his powers under the state constitution,
Three state delegates filed the writ, along with Wood County Republican Senator Mike Azinger.
"The governor is way out of bounds on what he's doing< Azinger said. "He needs to be told that, and he needs to start performing his office within the constitution of the state and the federal constitution."
A summary of the writ says:
“The Governor has exceeded his lawful authority in declaring a perpetual and unrestricted “State of Emergency” in West Virginia due to COVID-19, wherein he unilaterally has asserted, and continues to assert, the power of both the executive and legislative branches of State government.”
Among the delegates named in the filing is Delegate Marshall Wilson of Berkeley County, a "hot spot" county where a large number of COVID-19 cases were reported this week.
Azinger says the goal of the lawmakers' action is to persuade Justice to revoke executive orders he has issued during the crisis.