WSAZ - Blogs - At the Capitol

Nov 29, 2011- December Special Session in W.Va.; Ky. Budget Could Include More Cuts

By: Michael Hyland
By: Michael Hyland

According to a report Tuesday night, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is considering a December special session to tackle Marcellus Shale drilling regulations.

According to a report Tuesday night, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) is considering a December special session to tackle Marcellus Shale drilling regulations.

The State Journal reports a legislative aid told lawmakers attending the West Virginia Business and Industry Council's legislative luncheon to mark off the week of December 11 as a time to take up the Marcellus Shale bill that cleared a special committee earlier this month.

Tomblin enacted emergency rules this summer after lawmakers failed to pass a bill during the regular session.

If it happens, the December special session will happen one month before the regular session. Some lawmakers worry if this bill is put off until the regular session, it may not be seriously considered until the end of the session in March and potentially fail to pass once again.

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Gov. Steve Beshear has ordered most state agencies to cut their spending by 2 percent to help balance the state budget this fiscal year.

Budget Director Mary Lassiter told lawmakers Tuesday that she believes layoffs would be "very minimal" if necessary at all. But she said the various agencies will have to determine that.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that Lassiter told lawmakers no mandatory unpaid furloughs are planned (http://bit.ly/rRKdyY ).

Some state programs would be spared from the 2 percent cuts, including basic school funding, Medicaid, corrections, universities and student financial aid.

Beshear has to trim $189.9 million in this year's budget. The 2 percent cuts will account for $29 million of that.

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