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WV budget shortfall down to $146 million

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A budget deficit that was projected in January to exceed $350 million when the 2015-16 budget year ends June 30 is now sitting at a $146.3 million shortfall, thanks to mid-year spending cuts and an infusion of funds from legislation passed during the regular session, Department of Revenue officials said Tuesday.

“We’ve taken significant steps to assure we finish the year with a balanced budget,” Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss said during a briefing on state tax collections for March.

That includes mid-year spending cuts ordered by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to save more than $60 million, as well as legislation that will move about $90 million into General Revenue to help close the 2015-16 budget gap.

Meanwhile, Kiss said discussions are continuing with legislators over the ongoing impasse on how to resolve a $238.8 million shortfall in the 2016-17 state budget. Legislators left town March 15 with the 2016-17 budget bill in limbo.

“Generally speaking, we’ve made some progress…

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