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West Virginia governor vetoes $11M in spending, signs budget using $15M from reserves

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CHARLESTON, West Virginia — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has signed next year's state budget after reducing about $11 million set aside for a variety of grants and programs.

The Democrat's vetoes Tuesday made it possible to take only about $15 million from state reserves in a difficult budget year. The budget passed by the Republican-led Legislature depended on about $23 million from the Rainy Day Fund.

Tomblin reduced 46 line items. They include millions of dollars in combined reductions from state higher education, the state police forensics lab, free health clinics, vehicle purchasing, the veterans cemetery and other spending.

Tomblin's vetoes also take $2 million from capital outlay and maintenance, reducing the fund to $250,000.

He called the reductions to various grants and services difficult, but necessary.

The next budget year starts in July.

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