West Virginia Lawmakers Ask Governor for More Budget Options

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Republican legislative leaders are asking Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin for more options during the ongoing budget session.

In a letter Tuesday, Senate President Bill Cole and House Speaker Tim Armstead named other options to close a $270 million gap.

Among them are $10 million from an infrastructure fund; eliminating the secretary of the arts and education, worth $852,000; and $16 million in greyhound subsidies.

They want to revive bills introduced by Tomblin this year that would change the school aid formula, worth $15 million, and take $9 million in casino funding. Lawmakers previously killed the bills.

Tomblin has proposed tax increases on tobacco and e-cigarettes, cellphone and landline use, and sales.

Tomblin’s response letter says he’s willing to discuss new items if lawmakers outline their alternative budget plan.