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March-10-2016

No new taxes as budget tightens
Hoppy's Commentary | Hoppy Kercheval, Talkline

From the start of the session, much of the discussion by lawmakers and Governor Tomblin has been about increasing taxes and fees.

Tomblin proposed a tobacco tax increase and an elimination of the sales tax exemption (a de facto tax increase) on telephone services.  The Senate upped the ante by more than doubling Tomblin’s cigarette tax increase to $1 a pack, as well as raising...

March-09-2016

Legislature changes school calendar
By MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The legislature has approved a bill that would prevent county school systems from continuing classes well into the summer to make up days missed due to bad weather. HB 4147 allows schools to extend the length of the school day and use the banked time to reach the equivalent of the required 180-days of instruction.

The bill also prevents the school year from beginning before August 10th...

March-09-2016

Highways bill advocates asked to support PEIA option
By Jeff Jenkins | WV MetroNews

House Finance Committee Chair Eric Nelson pulled a highway funding bill (SB555) from his committee’s agenda Tuesday morning saying there’s not support for it.

The bill would raise taxes and fees to generate more than $200 million a year to go toward repairs of the state’s roads and bridges.

Despite Nelson’s actions, one bill supporter believes there’s still time for...

March-08-2016

Finger-pointing starting on budget impasse
Hoppy's Commentary | Hoppy Kercheval – Talkline host

Former Governor Arch Moore had some famous fights with the Legislature over the budget.  During one dispute, Moore appeared before the state Supreme Court to argue his case for cutting $2 million from the Legislature’s proposed budget.

According to John Morgan’s book West Virginia Governors, “His argument ranged from colonial times, when governors of...

March-08-2016

Tomblin won’t hesitate to send lawmakers home without a final budget
By Jeff Jenkins | WV MetroNews

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin told MetroNews Monday if he doesn’t see progress by the middle of next week with a new state budget he’ll send lawmakers home and call them back for a special session before July 1.

The House of Delegates and state Senate are expected to pass their own budget proposals by the end of this week. They will both differ from the governor’s...

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