West Virginia Lawmakers OK Budget Taking $23M From Reserve Funds

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West Virginia lawmakers have cleared a budget that relies on almost $23 million in reserves.
The Republican-led Legislature voted Wednesday on the House-Senate budget agreement. Some votes crossed party lines.
The plan wouldn’t depend on major tax or fee increases, like the cigarette tax hike that fizzled during the 60-day legislative session.
In a difficult budget year, there aren’t major pay increases, either. A small pocket of nationally certified teachers in low performing schools would get $2,000 raises.
Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s budget calls for $15.5 million from reserves. Republican Sen. Mike Hall says Tomblin’s budget depends on millions more from two bills that didn’t pass.
Tomblin can veto or reduce individual budget items.