WV Lawmakers Move Closer to Finalizing Budget

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 After spending more than half a million dollars on a special session, West Virginia seems poised to finally have a budget for the coming year.

The House of Delegates passed a state budget Monday. The budget now heads to the State Senate for a vote.

The House also approved a 65 cent tobacco tax increase on Monday. The tax will be added to the 45 cent tax that current exists on a pack of cigarettes.

People who use vapor products and e-cigarettes wanted to be exempt from the bill, but they lost.

“We need to tax the deadly tobacco products and leave the vaping alone. Vaping has proven to be 95 percent less harmful than combustible tobacco products,” said Marta Hayes.

“I also think it would be a good thing for the health of the citizens of our states and it also would improve our revenue situation if people have fewer illnesses or deaths related to tobacco,” said Del. Barbara Evans Fleischauer.

The tobacco tax goes back to the Senate for some changes…

The governor plans to sign the state budget when the final touches are complete.

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