- Associated Press - Saturday, March 8, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The West Virginia House of Delegates has passed a budget that would patch a projected shortfall with the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

Lawmakers in the lower chamber voted 81-16 Saturday to clear next year’s spending plan, which would rely on $83.8 million from the pot of reserves.

The House action prepares the Legislature for its extended budget negotiations, which begin next week. The formal 60-day lawmaking session ends Saturday.

House members have firmly opposed increases in taxes, like cigarette or sales taxes. House Speaker Tim Miley has said a significant reason why is that members are up for re-election this year.

The Senate passed its budget proposal Thursday. House Finance Committee chairman Del. Brent Boggs said the state faces a $64 million shortfall.

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