The Nation

The West Virginia Supreme Court declared the state's $1.49-billion budget unconstitutional because it contains a deficit, and the state treasurer said spending would cease immediately even though the court gave officials 60 days to find a solution. The 3-2 decision resulted from a lawsuit brought by the West Virginia Education Assn. last year that challenged cuts in funding for education. The state constitution requires "that the estimate of revenue and the budgeted appropriation be in balance so as not to create a deficit." The high court refused to tell the Legislature and the governor how to correct the $26-million deficit and rejected the education association's request that a special legislative session be ordered.

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