West Virginia state budget (2012-2013)

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Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed the state's $11.6 billion FY 2013 budget into law on March 22, 2012.[1] The governor used his line-item veto power to trim $13.5 million from the budget, citing economic uncertainty nationally to conclude that the state must keep permanent budget increases to a minimum.[1] Items the governor vetoed included:[2]
  • Cut pay and benefit raises for state police civilian employees by $1.05 million;
  • Cut funding for expenses at the Racing Commission nearly in half, by $696,800;
  • All $510,000 budgeted for equipment at the state Contractor Licensing Board;
  • Reduced revenues from the lottery for the Development Office by $410,000.

The budget bill as enacted can be found here.

Higher education received $528,967,825 in state funds for FY 2012, according to the state's Higher Education Policy Commission.[3]

Legislative budget

The West Virginia State Senate approved the $11.6 billion spending plan on a 34-0 vote. The West Virginia House of Delegates voted 85-15 to approve the budget on March 16, 2011. The budget increased spending two percent over the FY 2012 budget.[4] The legislative budget increased the Medicaid Trust Fund by $170 million more than FY 2012, which was $14 million more than the governor had requested.[5]

Governor's proposed budget

The govern proposed a FY 2013 state budget general fund of $4.55 billion, an increase of $15 million over FY 2013. The proposed budget did not include any tax increases and went forward with about $80 million of previously approved tax cuts, including a $50 million reduction in state sales tax collections on food.[6][7]

The budget did not include pay raises for state employees.[8]

Revenue

The governor's proposed budget relied on tax collections of $4.1 billion. It also relied on surplus and lottery proceeds to boost revenue.[8]

Medicaid

The share of the budget for Medicaid rose from $111 million to $500 million due to a decline in federal Medicaid funds from a 4-to-1 to a 3-to-1 match of state dollars and federal health-care mandates that added 170,000 individuals to the program.[6] The 2013-2014 state budget would require $650 million for Medicaid.[9]

State Budget Office Director Mike McKown said in January 2011 that if lawmakers kept everything at current levels and funded all programs the way they were at the start of 2012, the 2013 state budget would be about $225 million short. The $225 million deficit was primarily due to rising enrollment in and costs for Medicaid. The governor's administration said that raising taxes to close the gap was not an option but that it would consider tapping into the $800 million-plus rainy day fund.[10]

References