W. Va. Lawmakers Head Back To Work

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – On a tightening timeframe to avert a shutdown, West Virginia lawmakers are returning to budget work.

The GOP-led House and Senate will restart their work Saturday. Without a budget, the government shuts down July 1.

As promised, Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on Wednesday vetoed the budget passed by lawmakers last week. The session lasted 13 days and cost taxpayers $455,000.

Lawmakers also didn’t pass a budget in the allotted 60-plus days starting in January.

On Wednesday, Tomblin announced a deal with the Senate that includes a 65-cent tax increase on cigarettes. He beckoned the House to endorse it.

Tomblin consistently said he wouldn’t approve a plan dependent on single-year patches.

Tomblin wrote that the Republican-approved plan irresponsibly used $292 million in one-time cash, including almost $190 million from reserves.