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Liberty Caucus Says Their Budget Is a 'Blueprint' for Legislative Leaders

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On The Legislature Today, days before Republican Legislative leaders previewed their plan to balance the 2018 budget, members of the House Liberty Caucus came up with a solution of their own.

Delegates Pat McGeehan and Michael Folk introduced their budget bill Thursday in the House of Delegates. It makes cuts to "government bureaucracy" in Charleston, smooths payments to the teacher's retirement system, and cuts Gov. Jim Justice's $105 million "SOS Fund" to not just find a balance, but include a 2 percent pay raise for teachers. 

The delegates discuss their plan and why it should be considered a "blueprint" for their fellow Republicans.

Republican leadership, however, did preview their budget bill Monday which would get rid of subsidies for subsidies for casinos and racetracks, keep in place former- Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's mid-year 2 percent budget cuts, and increase the beer barrel and wholesale liquor taxes, among many other things.

A Senate proposal to restructure the state’s tax system is moving forward after the chamber’s tax reform committee gave it their stamp of approval today. The bill was approved with some major changes compared to the introduced version of a couple weeks ago, and some last-minute changes that Democratic Senators say haven’t been fully vetted.

The West Virginia Department of Commerce says compared to surrounding states, West Virginia just isn’t as competitive when it comes to attracting new business investments. That’s why the agency is asking for a massive increase in their budget, to help reverse the trend. As Liz McCormick reports, that request collided with the reality of the state’s dire budget situation this morning.
 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xu7y2pLW0uo&feature=youtu.be

Ashton Marra covers the Capitol for West Virginia Public Radio and can be heard weekdays on West Virginia Morning, the station’s daily radio news program. Ashton can also be heard Sunday evenings as she brings you state headlines during NPR’s weekend edition of All Things Considered. She joined the news team in October of 2012.