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House Finance Gets Initial Look at Govenor's Budget Proposal

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Aaron Payne
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With the challenges of a tight budget year ahead, the first goal was immediately understood because balancing the state budget is mandated by the constitution.

After receiving Governor Tomblin’s executive budget proposal at his State of the State Address, the House Finance Committee staff worked throughout the night until Thursday's budget meeting with Cabinet Secretary of the Department of Revenue, Bob Kiss and Deputy Secretary Mark Muchow. The two explained the governor’s reasoning behind the proposal and answered delegates’ questions ranging from coal export projections, a potential increase of the tobacco tax and questions of the proposal’s semantics in regard to the necessary legislation.

“I have some areas of questions, obviously the budget is going to require several pieces, as presented by the governor, legislation to be passed," said Committee Chair Brent Boggs.

"Should one of those falter, then you have to find out where you are going to make corresponding cuts in order to balance the budget.”

One such piece of legislation involves a law passed last year that interrupted the transfer of money from general revenue to the port authority. This new proposed legislation would continue that interruption for two years.