One of the big theme of this year’s budget-making process was how state agencies would deal with the 7.5 percent budget cuts requested by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin last August. Well, it now appears the state will get another exercise in belt-tightening.
Newly-appointed Department of Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss wrote a letter Monday asking all agencies to prepare two budgets – a regular budget, plus another version that includes a 7.5 percent cut. While Kiss did not say the cuts are guaranteed, state budget director Mike McKown said they’re almost a sure thing.
McKown said the state is facing a budget gap of more than $300 million for the 2015 budget year. Last year’s 7.5 percent cuts produced around $75 million, and another round of cuts would generate the same amount of money.
In other news…
- Judge Thomas Johnston struck down two sections of state law on Tuesday limiting campaign contributions in West Virginia to $1,000. The ruling was the result of a year-old suit against Secretary of State Natalie Tennant‘s office by the political action committee Stay the Course West Virginia. Stay the Course treasurer David Bailey said the ruling would allow anyone in West Virginia to express their political leanings with their pocketbooks, but Gary Zuckett, executive director of the West Virginia Citizens Action Group, said the ruling would only allow more out-of-state money into state elections and influence their outcomes.
- As Dave reported on Tuesday, a new judge has been appointed to handle John Raese‘s suit against West Virginia University. Raese-owned newspaper “The Dominion Post” now reports Raese’s company West Virginia Radio Corp. has requested a preliminary injunction stopping WVU from finalizing its new media rights contract with IMG College.
Tags: 2015 budget, Bob Kiss, Department of Revenue, IMG College, John Raese, media rights, PACs, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, Stay the Course West Virginia, West Virginia Citizens Actoin Group, West Virginia University