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WV lawmakers return to budget talks after break

CHRIS DORST | Gazette-Mail file photo

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia lawmakers are returning from a long weekend to resume budget negotiations.

Lawmakers are slated to return Tuesday for an 11th day of work. The session costs $35,000 a day. Counting Tuesday, the running tab is $385,000.

The House passed a budget Friday without tax increases and with $143 million taken from the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

The Senate will now consider it.

The amount taken from the Rainy Day Fund is almost certain to draw a veto from Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.

Without a budget, state government would shut down July 1. A $270 million budget gap remains.

Negotiations imploded last week when the House killed a $76 million package to raise taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Tomblin called the GOP-led Legislature into session May 16.

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