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Chamber sends open letter to selected lawmakers on tobacco tax
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The president of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce doesn’t believe the tobacco tax increase issue is dead in the Legislature’s special session on the state  budget.

Steve Roberts called the chamber “optimistic” about an increase even though it was rejected last week in the House of Delegates.

“We think when all is said and done that...


Gazette editorial: Summer of work, or self-induced crisis

Republicans took control of the Legislature — and West Virginia’s government is on the brink of collapse. The current special session is costing taxpayers perhaps a half-million dollars at $35,000 per day.

If it can’t attain a balanced budget by July 1, when the next fiscal year begins, massive state layoffs may occur and crucial services may halt.

Legislators have only one absolute duty: to raise...


House approves proposed 2017 budget with list of cuts, $143 million from Rainy Day funds
By Shauna Johnson, WV MetroNews

Five weeks ahead of the start of the 2017 fiscal year in West Virginia, the House of Delegates approved a budget bill with a 61-37 vote on Friday afternoon at the State Capitol and sent it on to the Senate for consideration after Memorial Day.



Tensions, tempers rise in budget deliberations
By Pamela Pritt,  Register-Herald Reporter

Nine amendments to the House budget bill that would have raided money from higher education institutions from around the state caused such a stir on the House floor Thursday evening that Speaker Tim Armstead felt compelled to leave his podium and address the body from his seat. 

The amendments, which were offered by Delegates Ron Walters, R-Kanawha, and Ray...


Senate appears ready to follow House lead on budget
By Chris Lawrence, WV MetroNews

The state Senate has recessed for the long holiday weekend with no budget in place. The Senate’s version of the proposed 2016-17 budget was on second reading Friday, but leaders chose to let it lie over for a day.

The move along with remarks from Senator Kent Leonhardt (R-Monongalia) seemed to indicate the Senate plans to allow the House of Delegates to take the lead on...