- Associated Press - Friday, February 6, 2015

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael says he recognizes that lawmakers have to tap reserves in the difficult upcoming budget.

On Friday, Carmichael told The Associated Press he expects having to use $25 million from the Rainy Day Fund, the amount Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin proposed using.

Republicans have opposed balancing the budget with reserves. They are also against raising taxes.

Tomblin’s budget uses the reserves and various cuts to cover an expected $151 million budget gap.

Carmichael said Tomblin’s budget is cutting to the bone, but still requires using reserves. He said Republicans are still looking at accounts not already swept in Tomblin’s proposal.

The GOP-led Legislature is crafting the state budget during the ongoing 60-day lawmaking session.

Tomblin can make line-item vetoes after lawmakers pass the budget.

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