W.Va. gov orders hiring freeze amid weak revenues

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin wants a freeze on hiring for the rest of the budget year.

The governor ordered the restriction on executive branch agencies on Tuesday, effective until June 30.

Tomblin cited state budget woes. Taxes that support the general revenue portion of state spending are nearly $35 million below estimates for the budget year.

While that's less than 1.5 percent of projected general revenue collections to date, officials fear the lagging performance will continue.

Tuesday's order applies to jobs and vacancies funded by general revenue, and not to those that rely on such special revenues as license fees.

Tomblin said he would allow exceptions on a case-by-case basis. The governor also ruled out layoffs or furloughs.