Liz McCormick Published

Eastern Panhandle Lawmakers Waiting for Budget Solution


Lawmakers have until June 30 to come up with a state budget for next year, and lawmakers in the Eastern Panhandle are eager to see a solution soon.

Eight Eastern Panhandle lawmakers met with members of the Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce to recap the 2016 legislative session Tuesday during a wrap-up breakfast in Martinsburg.

While many issues and triumphs were considered, the 2017 budget was the major topic of discussion. House Finance Vice Chairman Eric Householder is a Republican from Berkeley County. He says right now it’s just a waiting game until they are called back to Charleston.

“The governor decided the best thing to do is have us come back for special session; we’re hearing that could be next week,” he noted, “Right now, we have to get a complete agreement with the House and Senate and with the governor’s office of which direction the governor wants to go, and once we get that direction, then the governor will call us back.”

Whether balancing the budget through cuts, tax increases, or pulling one-time monies from accounts like the Rainy Day Fund, Householder says lawmakers and the governor will have to work together.

Delegate Stephen Skinner of Jefferson County was the only Democrat at the breakfast. He says his main concern is making sure the Public Employees Insurance Agency is fully funded for 2017.