CAPITOL BEAT: Compromises emerging on W.Va. budget
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WVVA) - After weeks of negotiations among lawmakers, we’re getting a first look at progress on a state budget compromise.
With just two weeks left in the session, several new developments on budget discussions could be expected as early as next week. Lawmakers have already cleared a number of hurdles in addressing the budget, among them a proposed PEIA fix and a split up of the DHHR.
With respect to taxes, Del. Todd Kirby, (R) Raleigh County, offered a preview of what taxpayers may expect. “What you’re looking at is a 15 percent reduction to personal income taxes, 100 percent rebates for taxes on personal vehicles, and a 50 percent reduction in inventory taxes for small businesses, which I think will be good for the people of Southern West Virginia.”
On the Senate side, a top priority for Sen. Jack Woodrum, (R) Summers County, is investment in parks and tourism that will benefit his district. “It’s not everything we wanted, never will be, but it’s a good compromise.”
Another breakthrough is expected on funding for the Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation, which has been a source of controversy between the Governor and Senators. Senator Rollan Roberts, (R) Raleigh County, expects positive new developments on that front next week. The Governor had originally requested 29 million in funding for deferred maintenance at those facilities despite a 200 million request by the Dept. of Homeland Security.
“I think there will be exceptional news on deferred maintenance that is not on anybody’s radar screen yet,” said Sen. Roberts.
Meanwhile, Sunday is crossover day in the state legislature. That’s the day in which bills which have not cleared committees will not have enough time to make it through both houses by the last day of the session, March 12th.
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