Monday, May 9, 2016

West Virginia governor calling lawmakers for budget session

 (AP) --West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is calling lawmakers back into session to work on a long-delayed budget.

Tomblin spokesman Chris Stadelman said Monday that the Democratic governor would call back the Republican-led Legislature starting May 16.

He said Tomblin expects lawmakers to stay in Charleston until they pass a budget.

Plagued by falling tax revenues from coal and natural gas, West Virginia lawmakers and Tomblin haven't agreed so far on a 2017 budget that's still $270 million short. The next fiscal year begins July 1.

Lawmakers left Charleston in mid-March without passing a budget.

Stadelman said there's still no widespread agreement, but the uncertainty has been problematic.

Tomblin's administration is calling for tax increases, including tobacco taxes. The GOP-led House wants to make deeper budget cuts and use reserves.