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Governor predicts tobacco tax will be 'on the table'
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin stopped short of saying he’ll propose an increase in the state’s tobacco tax during an appearance on MetroNews “Talkline” Thursday. Tomblin did say the proposal is on the table.

“Because of the budget conditions I think those discussions will be discussed a lot more than what they have been in the last four or five years,” Tomblin...


Tomblin to address $353 million shortfall next week
By Phil Kabler, Charleston Gazette-Mail

With December marking another dismal month for tax collection, West Virginia Department of Revenue officials are now projecting the Mountain State will finish the 2015-16 budget year on June 30 with a funding deficit of $353 million — a shortfall of nearly 10 percent of the general revenue budget.

Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss said Wednesday that Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin...


Testing commission eyes replacing Smarter Balanced with ACT
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

Most members of the West Virginia Schools superintendent’s commission on testing want to move away from Smarter Balanced standardized exams, limit end-of-year testing in high school to only one grade and specifically explore using ACT tests as statewide assessments.

The recommendations came near the end of a nearly five-hour-long meeting that included...


Mingo Del. Harry Keith White resigns
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

GILBERT, W.Va. — Another longtime member of the West Virginia House of Delegates has resigned just more than a week before the beginning of the 60-day legislative session.

Del. Harry Keith White (D-Mingo), an 11-term delegate, submitted a letter to the House clerk’s office Monday afternoon.

“I am tendering my resignation to the House of Delegates effective at midnight tonight...


Rick Wilson: PEIA change threatens economic health of vital workers
For the Charleston Gazette-Mail

If you work for a living in West Virginia AND if you sometimes feel like there’s a target painted on your back these days, there’s at least a little good news: you’re probably not clinically paranoid.

Construction workers and apprentices have been targeted in efforts to repeal the state’s prevailing wage on public construction projects. Last year, some...