Associated Press Published

Revenue Worsening, Lawmakers to Leave Without Budget


With coal and natural gas tax money dwindling, West Virginia lawmakers are finishing a budget session without a spending plan.

In a news release Tuesday, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said he’ll send lawmakers home and bring them back later this spring. The new budget year starts July 1.

The Republican-led Legislature returned Monday to negotiate a budget with a gap initially pegged at $466 million. Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss estimated revenues will be $92 million lower.

The House budget used $32 million from Rainy Day Fund reserves, $17 million in extra cuts and $72 million from agency accounts.

The Democratic governor has said he’ll veto a budget tapping reserves.

Senators proposed $115 million through higher tobacco taxes and $20 million by eliminating greyhound racing subsidies not approved by the House.