Associated Press Published

Tomblin: $50M More in Reserves to Patch Gap


Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin expects to take about $50 million more from reserves to cover a pressing budget hole.

The Democrat said Wednesday that the Rainy Day Fund money would help West Virginia get through the current fiscal year ending June 30. Tomblin used reserves and cuts to cover a 2016 gap of about $353 million.

Last week, revenue officials said they expected a bigger gap.

Falling revenues from the diminished coal industry and low-priced natural gas have fueled West Virginia’s budget problems.

Tomblin said that largely because of natural gas prices, withholding tax dollars on royalties are about 70 percent below revenues this time last year.

Tomblin and the GOP-led Legislature still haven’t crafted a 2017 budget short by $270 million. They’re negotiating tax increases, cuts and use of reserves.