- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 29, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Several dozen West Virginia Division of Forestry employees are being laid off.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail (https://bit.ly/296ESWH ) says the forestry workers have helped clean up areas devastated by last week’s flooding and hauled supplies to flood victims. They police the state’s logging industry and fight forest fires.

The State Personnel Board voted Tuesday to approve the plan to lay off 37 division employees. The layoffs are effective July 15.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has blamed the cuts on state lawmakers. The division wound up with a $1.7 million shortfall after lawmakers passed a lower severance tax on the timber industry than Tomblin requested.

State legislative leaders have said Tomblin didn’t give them a heads-up about the pending forestry cuts. Lawmakers have said they would have looked for ways to spare the jobs if he had.


Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, https://wvgazettemail.com.

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