One of the nice things about spring is that you can finally open the windows, turn off the heat, and save a few bucks on your utility bill. Likewise in fall, you can turn off the AC, open the windows and the electric bill goes down again for some more weeks.

In winter or summer, when you have to heat or cool your home, you want to keep those windows shut so that you're not attempting to heat or cool all outdoors. If you have kids in the house, you have to be vigilant, because they don't think about utility bills and tend to leave windows open.

Gov. Joe Manchin is trying to keep state money from flying out the window, but some other public officials aren't cooperating.

Last week, Manchin used his line-item veto to strike $17 million from the state budget. Casualties of the cutbacks included spending on in-home care for seniors, building projects at community and technical colleges, and funding for fairs, festivals, etc.

Manchin also vetoed a scheme that would have allowed State Attorney General Darrell McGraw to control the disbursement of a $7 million pharmaceutical lawsuit settlement, noting that it duplicated state efforts and undermined administration policy.

Old Quick Draw McGraw has won lawsuits against major drug companies, but retained control of the proceeds, leaving the state holding the bag for what was due to the federal government. The feds then withheld Medicaid funds that would have gone to our Department of Health and Human Resources.

Last month, a district court judge rejected McGraw's challenge to a federal withhold of more than $400,000 in Medicaid payments. Old Quick Draw's challenge to another withhold of more than $2 million appears likely to fail as well.

The money that McGraw squandered and didn't pay back Uncle Sam could have financed many of the programs that Manchin was obliged to scale back. That's a big window kid Darrell left open.

When will state voters tire of seeing tax dollars disappear out the window.

More News