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March-05-2014

By Shauna Johnson
WV MetroNews

State tax collections in West Virginia finished February a total of $9 million above estimates.

It was the second month in a row for better than expected revenue collections, but state officials said that’s largely due to a technicality since some insurance premium tax money came in earlier than expected.

Overall, revenue collections are $64 million below estimates for the year with just four months remaining until the fiscal year...

March-05-2014

By Hoppy Kercheval
WV MetroNews

The House Finance Committee Wednesday tried to straighten out a pay raise plan for school teachers and service workers that was botched in the House Education Committee two days earlier.

Finance Committee members switched the raise package back to a one-year $1,000 across the board increase for teachers, from a three-year $6,000 raise approved by the Education Committee.

The $6,000 raise plan surprised key lawmakers, the teacher...

March-04-2014

By Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball
For The Charleston Gazette

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- This is the time of year when we decide on West Virginia's priorities through legislation and the budget process. There is no higher priority for the state than the wellbeing of West Virginia's youngest children. Funding early childhood education is not only the right thing to do, it's a smart investment for the state.

The governor's proposed budget cuts early childhood programs, including home-...

March-04-2014

By Jeff Jenkins
WV MetroNews

A Senate bill aimed at giving teachers a modest raise took a significant turn Monday when the House Education Committee proposed a far steeper pay hike.

The Senate bill included only an $837 across-the-board raise for teachers, but the House committee changed that to a three-year package totaling $6,000. The first year would see teachers earning an additional $1,000, the second year $2,000 and the third year $3,000.

The committee also...

March-03-2014

Dan Heyman, Public News Service-WV

(03/03/14) CHARLESTON, W.Va. - State lawmakers are struggling to close a big budget hole, but a close look shows the legislature dug that pit with business tax cuts over the last eight years. Sean O'Leary with the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy pointed out that state spending has been basically flat for some time, but the tax cuts made since 2006 are part of what is causing a budget gap of more than $200 million next year.

"We're...

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