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State to Mull Public Health Plan Cuts in Budget

Perry Bennett
West Virginia Legislative Photography
The West Virignia state Capitol.

West Virginia is revisiting the idea of larger cuts to state employee and retiree health plans as a state budget stalemate drags on.

West Virginia's Public Employee Insurance Agency Finance Board is meeting Wednesday afternoon to discuss options amid a budget fight that has seen funding options for health plans die, including a higher tax on tobacco products and e-cigarettes.

In December, the board approved plans to cut $120 million from health plans, which would affect state employees, teachers and retirees. They would affect the 2017 fiscal year, which begins July 1.

The Republican-led Legislature and Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin have not yet reached a budget agreement. The House of Delegates has resisted tax increases, including the tobacco tax.

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