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W.Va. Legislative Committee Will Look for Ways to Downsize Government

Perry Bennett
West Virginia Legislative Photography
House Speaker Tim Armstead during an interim meeting Sunday on the House floor.

A new committee of West Virginia lawmakers will meet at the Capitol Monday to focus on ways  to reduce the size of state government.

Senate President Bill Cole and House Speaker Tim Armstead announced the creation of the Government Accountability, Transparency and Efficiency Committee last week, calling it GATE for short. 

Its members will hold their first meeting during interim meetings Monday at noon.

Speaker Armstead said Sunday along with identifying efficiencies that he believes still can be found despite years of government cuts, the committee will also focus on finding targeted reductions in state agencies.

“No one wants to go cutting key, essential government programs. That’s not our goal, that’s no one’s goal,"Armstead said, "but to say that in a $4 billion budget there aren’t areas we can cut, I don’t think is realistic.”

The committee will meet during the interim session and make recommendations to the full Legislature during the regular session in February.

Lawmakers held a special session during the summer to close a more than $300 million gap in the state’s budget.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s budget officials expect that gap to widen during the upcoming fiscal year.

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