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WV Senate drafts $28 million budget cut bill

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -

Faltering West Virginia tax revenues are prompting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to seek immediate budget cuts totaling $28 million.

The Senate Finance Committee drafted and advanced a bill April 1 to reduce ongoing spending by that amount. The full Senate is expected to vote on the bill April 3.

Some of the cuts follow through on the hiring freeze ordered by Tomblin in March for his office and Cabinet.

Lawmakers said Tomblin also asked his department secretaries to identify non-personnel spending that could be delayed until the next budget year.

The cuts and hiring freeze apply to the $4 billion portion of the budget supported by general tax revenues. Those revenues are $49 million behind schedule for the budget year that began July 1. Tax collections fell below estimate for the third straight month in March.

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