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Tomblin’s budget veto opens door to compromise

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin late Wednesday afternoon vetoed what he called a “reckless” budget bill passed by the West Virginia Legislature, and said he has a deal with the state Senate on a different budget — one that includes a 65-cent-per-pack increase in cigarette taxes to help close a $270 million budget hole.

The cigarette tax increase — with proportionate tax hikes on other tobacco products — would raise close to $100 million a year in new revenue.

Tomblin vetoed the budget bill (HB 101) passed by the Legislature on June 2. In a statement accompanying his veto, he said lawmakers’ proposed budget was “irresponsible and leaves significant shortfalls in 2018 and 2019 that would further deplete the reserves we’ve worked so hard to preserve…

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