- Associated Press - Thursday, May 26, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Locked in a budget fight, West Virginia lawmakers have wrapped a ninth day of a special session without a budget plan.

The GOP-led Legislature is approaching passage of a budget potentially taking $135 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund. The move is essentially guaranteed to draw Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto.

Without a budget, the state government would shut down July 1. A $270 million budget gap remains.

Negotiations imploded Tuesday when the House killed a $78 million package to raise taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products.

On Thursday, the House passed a bill using $14 million set aside for casinos to help balance the budget. It still needs Senate approval.

Session costs $35,000 a day, putting the tab at $315,000 through Thursday. Lawmakers return Friday.

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