Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed two bills that passed both the House and the Senate without a single no vote. In so doing, Tomblin probably spared taxpayers untold millions of dollars.
The first bill would have given a special state income tax break to 90 retired Division of Natural
Resources conservation officers by including them in a law that gives a tax break to retired law enforcement officers.
The bill passed the House and the Senate by unanimous votes.
The state Tax Department estimated the measure would reduce state revenues by $160,000 a year, which seems like a negligible amount in a $4 billion-plus annual budget.
But this isn't Tomblin's first rodeo. He knows that nothing is as simple as it appears when it comes to state personnel rules, particularly regarding pensions.
The Public Employees Retirement System covers these officers.
"I have serious concerns about providing disparate tax treatment to a very narrow class of retirees within PERS," Tomblin said in his veto message.