Lawmakers must live within a budget - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Lawmakers must live within a budget

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The picture being painted concerning our state's finances is not pretty. We hear that every year and it's mostly hot air, but this year, the outlook is particularly bleak. The state Budget Office is predicting a multi-million dollar shortfall. Part of the dynamic is the fact that Lottery revenues could be significantly lower than in previous years.

As casinos in other states come on line, our gambling industry is going to take a serious hit. We knew this day was coming, and we can hope that our elected officials — those who control the public purse — have planned accordingly. We all know that's unlikely. As we said in this space last week, our elected leaders need to take a close look at our state's budget and make sure taxpayers are getting the biggest bang for their buck. This may not be an easy process, but we need a full and clear picture of what our finances are and how we can best use our limited resources. New taxes (or fees, as they are sometimes called) are simply not an option. 

Our lawmakers need to diversify our state's economy and do what every family in this state does — find out how much money they have and live within a budget.