CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin used his budget line-item veto power 42 times on the new state budget passed by lawmakers last week and in doing so cut the spending plan by $67 million.

The governor also reduced the amount of money lawmakers approved taking out of the state’s Rainy Day Fund by approximately $21 million. The fund will now be reduced by $100 million instead of $121 million to make the budget balance.

In his veto message, Tomblin said he was not in favor of increased spending.

(Read governor’s budget veto messages here)

“We must be committed to fiscal responsibility,” Tomblin said in the message to lawmakers. “And not commit one-time surplus funds to increase on-going spending.”

The governor told reporters Thursday afternoon it was important to keep the amount taken from Rainy Day close to $100 million because of the state’s bond rating.

“We need to keep our bond rating up,” Tomblin said. “The last thing we want to do is overspend the money and watch our bond rating decline like it did back in the 80s.”

The veto message said future budgets would need additional spending cuts or revenue enhancements (tax increases) to keep from going deeper into the Rainy Day Fund, which currently has a balance of more than $900 million. State Senate Finance Committee Chairman Roman Prezioso agreed.

“I’d say you are exactly right. We’re going to have to either enhance some revenues or we’re going to get further into the Rainy Day Fund, which would be disastrous for our bond rating.”

The line item veto was used by Tomblin on dozens of allocations span including funds passed by the legislature for education and senior services. The governor cut the in-home waiver program for seniors by $3.5 million. He said the $16 million he left in the allocation would provide for an additional 335 seniors to be able to stay in their homes.

The new budget takes effect July 1.


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  • jfk

    Our roads are in shambles they want us to pay more at the pump. Some water and sewer lines are over hundred years old, while there is nearly a billion in the bank. We shouldn't take money form the rainy day fund for pay raises but some of that money should be used for infrastructure!!

  • Dr. Sarcasm

    $121 million proposed take from fund , $100 million new amount is $67 million difference? No wonder we're having money problems. They can't do basic math!

  • Picklebee

    Did he cut momma and her dog fund? Somehow I guess that didn't happen.

  • John

    How much did Tomblin cut from the horse tracks and the dog track that he and his family owns. I'll bet he made sure that they are taken care of. Take it from the senior citizens and give a big tax break to the Greenbrier. Looks like we needed that extra tax revenue to make ends meet, but anyway, take care of the fat cats, and let the poor get even poorer.

  • Rick55

    Cut welfare to 0. No welfare. 100% of people who are on welfare are lazy cheats who just don't want to work! Everybody knows this to be a fact!

    • Uncle Unctuous

      I don't know this to be a fact. Therefore, not everyone knows this to be a fact.

      Dial down your hysterical hyperbole, and maybe next time you won't be so easily proven wrong.

    • J

      I sure hope you never need governmental assistance!

      • susanf1218

        When you say "governmental assistance" what you really mean is "give me money that other people work for and pay taxes on in order to support those who won't work".

  • bulldog95

    What does Roman Prezioso not get about this problem. I see he talks about more taxes or more from the rainy day fund but nothing about cuts.

    Lets knock it off with this garbage about "revenues" and call it what it is, TAXES. Stay out of my pocket.

  • sam

    Thanks Governor. For nothing.

  • Mountain Codger

    Hey Gov
    How about setting up an oil and gas funded program to plug all the old wells to prevent cross contamination of aquifers.
    How about assessing the windmills for bird deaths and require reclamation bonding to remove these devices once the tax incentives are gone.
    How about requiring fecal feel streams and major fines when sewer systems fail and dump the overflow in the rivers.
    Talk about revenue generating.

    • Hey you

      How about you take your hippy bs to California.

      • Uncle Unctuous

        Hippy? How do you know he has big hips, and what has that got to do with anything?

        Or did you mean hippie?

      • Joe Hall

        He is from Logan county, idiot. This comment makes no sense.
        I don't believe the intermodal facility is being funded with all State money. The Chief Logan road is funded with all State money. Come on Metro News...investigate the Chief Logan road!

  • Mountain Codger

    Good job Gov.
    Don't be timid
    There is fat everywhere.
    And a lot of services we don't need.
    Bill the enviro groups for all the costs they run up to delay business by bastardizing the permitting process.
    Only have the legislators meet every two years and save the salaries and expense. Raise the bar on any change in the law requiring a major cost justification.

  • Aaron

    The DOH lettings are full of fraud and waste every month. From 300k for a seldom used truck parking lot I'm St. Albans to $30 million on an intermodal facility in Pritchard, our state waste more than enough to provide for what is truly needed.

  • ViennaGuy

    - “I’d say you are exactly right. We’re going to have to either enhance some revenues or we’re going to get further into the Rainy Day Fund, which would be disastrous for our bond rating.” -

    It's funny how the only way to make ends meet is to either "enhance" revenue or dip into the Rainy Day fund. What about actual program cuts?

  • Joe

    Maybe he should have included his soon to be new road within the Chief Logan State Park in those budget cuts. That would save close to $10 million. DOH will be building that road by contract this summer. The Park seems to operate fine without it. Sounds like the governor is contradicting himself a bit. Why aren't the media adding this facet to this story? Seems logical to me?