Barrett said he fully supports the bill because marijuana can provide relief to constituents suffering from certain medical conditions.
The governor said the eleventh hour deal spares deep cuts to health care and education by spreading the tax burden equally among the working class, business, and the wealthy.
The Senate's 34-0 approval Friday followed a previous House vote to add beds and establish an addiction prevention and recovery fund. He had used words such as "pitiful" to describe his feelings toward state lawmakers, and their inability achieve a budget during the 60-day regular session.
It would increase the state gasoline tax by 4.5 cents a gallon and start his proposed road reconstruction program aimed at creating thousands of jobs. He has publicly expressed support for legal access to medical marijuana and is expected to sign the bill into law, making West Virginia the 29th state to adopt an effective medical marijuana law.
The state Department of Health and Human Resources also would lose nearly 3.7 percent across the board, much of it matched with federal dollars that would be lost. Mike Hall, Senate Finance Committee chairman.
After the West Virginia House of Delegates' first reading of the bill, legislators voted to bypass the committee process and put SB 386 straight to a vote.
For the month of March, general revenue fund collections were $331.5 million, $26.3 million above the original budget estimate.
West Virginia's Democratic Gov. Jim Justice said Saturday night that he was near a deal with the Senate Republican leadership to limit budget cuts and overhaul taxes, but lawmakers later passed a spending plan that closes a projected deficit simply with deeper cuts.
"We're going to shoot down this nonsense", Justice said. The legislation at press time was headed to the Senate for deliberations, according to Justice. The last thing we need to do is drive more people out of West Virginia.
Justice has called either set of cuts too drastic, saying they would hurt students and West Virginians getting needed social services while automatically cutting matching federal funds.