27 March 2010

Wielding Line-Item Vetoes, Manchin Signs Budget

Gov. Joe Manchin has approved a new, $11.6 billion spending plan for West Virginia state government after cutting out $17.2 million, The Associated Press reports.

Armed with a line-item veto, Manchin raised 55 objections to the budget bill passed last weekend by the Legislature.

While several of these objections reduced or even zeroed out funding items within programs and agencies, several others "erased language earmarking spending lines for specific purposes," the article said. "Lawmakers had, for instance, spelled out amounts for 361 different fair- or festival-type events."

A number of the vetoes "returned agency or program spending to current levels and then reduced them by 5 percent," AP also reports. "Manchin had proposed cuts of that amount in the budget plan he presented in January, citing the recession-weakened economy."

Lawmakers blasted several of Manchin's line-items, particularly one cutting funding for a senior in-home care program and another removing a legislative directive involving substance abuse funding.

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