(08/08/2012)
The State of West Virginia is doing what many state counties and towns have already done, cut their budget.

The cuts are being made to free up $85 million in next year's budget, according to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.

Instructions have been issued how to cut the state's estimated $4.2 billion budget by 2 percent.

A slow economy and growing health care costs are responsible for the belt-tightening, the state dealing with the effect of less revenue from its usual cash cows, including coal.

The 2 percent reduction will not be spread over all agencies equally.

School funding, important health care services like Medicaid and the prison system budget will be untouched, the governor said.

That means that other agencies are being asked to roll back spending by 7.5 percent.

Officials said revenue is not keeping pace with expenditures.

The state is dealing with a $180 million cut in Medicaid spending t next year.

Officials are also projecting declines in the state's racetrack video lottery collections as new casinos in Ohio and Pennsylvania draw customers away from state gaming facilities.


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