- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The Latest on the West Virginia Legislature’s special session (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

A state Senate committee has advanced a bill aimed at increasing taxes on tobacco products while rejecting a proposal for a 1 percent state sales tax increase.

The Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday afternoon rejected the sales tax proposal that would have raised nearly $200 million. But it advanced a bill that would raise about $100 million per year from new taxes on tobacco products.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting (https://bit.ly/24jjzBE ) reports the bill would increase the cigarette tax by 65 cents per pack and taxes on smokeless and other tobacco products from 7 percent to 12 percent. It also would establish a 12 percent tax on e-cigarettes at the point of sale.

Budget negotiations imploded last week when the House of Delegates killed a tax package for tobacco products worth $76 million.


10:30 a.m.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has added two items for West Virginia lawmakers to consider during the current special session.

Tomblin says in a news release that he wants the Legislature to look at a Department of Environmental Protection rules bill that didn’t pass during the regular session. It addresses new water standards for selenium limits.

Tomblin also included a supplemental bill to allow the Boone County Board of Education to continue to meet its payroll while addressing funding shortfalls caused by a drop in local property tax collections.

The governor says he’s also concerned about lawmakers’ lack of progress on the state budget. Tomblin called the Republican-led Legislature into session May 16. Without a budget, state government would shut down July 1. A $270 million budget gap remains.

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