West Virginia Senate backs budget with spending cuts

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia’s Senate has advanced a budget that would cut about $160 million of state spending, including a 15 percent cut in support for West Virginia University.

Senate President Mitch Carmichael and others backing the budget drafted by the majority Republican Caucus say the government needs to live within its means.

Minority Leader Roman Prezioso and other Democrats say the $41.5 million cut to higher education would hurt WVU and the other state schools, while the Department of Health and Human Resources would lose almost 3.7 percent across the board, much of it matched with federal dollars that would be lost.

Finance Committee Chairman Mike Hall says the Senate document is part of an overall process that includes the House and probably not final.