CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Democrats want a special session to talk about possible fixes to West Virginia University’s money problems, while people on the other side of the aisle, including Gov. Jim Justice, have their doubts.

Faced with a $45 million budget deficit, it is possible 145 employees could be laid off, and more than a dozen academic programs cut or eliminated. Now, the Kanawha County Democratic Executive Committee has made a recommendation for a three-point fix.

First, stop the transformation layoffs and program cuts. Then, ask the legislature to fully fund WVU. And finally, hold an independent audit of the school’s finances. The governor is being asked to call a Special Session.

“I do not think there is an appetite from the standpoint of the leadership in the legislature, at this point in time to basically bail out, you know, WVU,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia.

“We’ve got to attract young people to this state. The cuts that have gone on at WVU, do the exact opposite of that. We need to have a well-trained workforce if we want to continue to attract business here,” said Del. Mike Pushkin, (D) Kanawha and Chairman of the West Virginia Democratic Party.

The WVU Board of Governors is scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. Friday to vote up or down on the layoffs and program cuts.

School President Gordon Gee, says many other universities are facing similar challenges. The student population at WVU declined by two thousand during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that prompted the multi-million-dollar loss in tuition.