Ashton Marra Published

Tomblin Signs 2017 Budget Bill, Tobacco Tax Hike


Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed eight bills Friday, including the budget for the 2017 fiscal year lawmakers spent nearly a month in a special session crafting. 

The budget bill includes cuts to state agencies and Constitutional Officers as well as the use of one-time Rainy Day Funds to find a balance. 

Nearly $100 million in new revenue is included in the bill now that Tomblin also signed an increase to the state’s cigarette and tobacco taxes Friday, approved by lawmakers in separate piece of legislation.

Other bills that have now received the governor’s signature include a bill to take $20 million from the West Virginia Infrastructure Fund to support government operations and a bill that would authorize the governor to continue making state debt payments should future legislators be unable to pass a budget, provoking a government shutdown.

Thursday, Tomblin signed a bill giving the Boone County Board of Education an additional $2 million to pay teachers salaries and other bills this month.

The county experienced an unexpected loss of $9 million in tax collections after three major coal companies announced bankruptcies in the past year.