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WV Legislature to take another stab at budget crisis

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The legislature will return to Charleston Saturday to begin what is essentially the third round of a budget session after revenue measures floated by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin were rejected during two earlier legislative sessions and Tomblin vetoed the budget they passed earlier this week because it used more than $182 million in Rainy Day Funds.

Tomblin was looking for $271 million to fill a budget gap that will continue to grow in coming years without some increase in revenue, according to his administration.

Some lawmakers, however, were dead set on budget cuts instead of any kind of tax increases. Tomblin’s proposed budget had $300 million in cuts built in to it. Others said the governor’s tax increases were not enough, particularly with the 45 cent per pack cigarette tax.

That’s where House Democrats who preferred a $1 per pack increase were last week as they recessed from the first round of the budget session. And, it seems, that’s where they are this week, reacting to Tomblin’s new proposal of 65 cents per pack.

“I don’t like it,” said House Minority Leader Tim Miley, D-Harrison…

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