Lawmakers need to start addressing budget issues

An editorial from The Exponent Telegram 

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — We are halfway through the regular session of the 2016 Legislature and there has been a lot of activity, but none of it has done anything to address the really important issues facing West Virginia in the coming year.

Lawmakers have been working on Right to Work, prevailing wage, carrying concealed weapons without permits and so forth. But nothing has been done to date about plugging the holes in the current state budget or passing a balanced budget for next fiscal year.

 Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is angry over the Legislature’s inaction on his budget proposal that would raise taxes on cigarettes and cellphone users. His measures would raise only about $130 million, which, according to The Charleston Gazette-Mail, only plugs a fraction of the $820 million needed to balance the current and next year’s budget.

Tomblin complains that there is strong opposition to his tax hike proposals, and he is concerned that the House Finance Chairman is asking state agencies how they could cut an additional 6.5 percent out of their budgets…

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