West Virginia state budget (2009-2010)

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West Virginia missed FY2010's revenue estimate by more than $29 million but $119 million in midyear spending cuts in addition to an estimated $12 million left over in state agency accounts more than offset the revenue shortfall.[1] Additionally, the state's two key general revenue sources - sales and personal income taxes - beat both their monthly July 2010 estimates and their July 2009 collections.[1]

Moreover, the state would receive approximately $136 million from the federal government under HER 1586, a $26 billion plan to give states money for Medicaid and education that the President signed into law on August 10, 2010.[2][3]

West Virginia had a total state debt of $13,774,822,023 when calculated by adding the total of outstanding debt, pension and OPEB UAAL’s, unemployment trust funds and the 2010 budget gap as of July 2010.[4]

2011 State spending & deficit in billions[5]
Total spending Health and human services Education Protection Transport Other
$11.2 $3.8 $3.0 $0.56 $1.3 $1.9
2011 Local spending & deficit in billions[6]
Total spending Pension Healthcare Education Welfare Protection Transport Deficit
$6.8 $0.0 $0.3 $2.8 $0.1 $0.6 $0.2 $3.7

State Budget FY2010

See also: Archived West Virginia state budgets

West Virginia faced an estimated $120 million deficit by the end of the FY 2010 budget as reported December 2009.[7] Gov. Joe Manchin III and his staff were “cautious but not alarmed” by the shortfall given West Virginia finished FY 2009 with a $68 million surplus, had a $500 million Rainy Day Fund, and had not spent the full amount of federal stimulus funds.[8] The West Virginia Legislature had been called into its 4th special session in 2009 on November 17th, but was focused on dealing with municipal pensions and the future of the state gas tax rather than specifically dealing with the state deficit.[9][10]

State revenues for the fiscal year since July 1, 2009 had been $16 million less than estimated. The month of October 2009 saw a slight $1.3 million collection increase, but the trend was expected to be continued revenue declines for the two key sources of income and sales taxes through June 30, 2010.[11] Gov. Manchin had asked the Department of Education to cut 4% for its FY 2011 budget planning and all other state agencies to trim 5%.

The total West Virginia state FY 2010 budget was $11.6 billion and divided into:[12]

Fund Amount
General Revenue $3.8 billion
Road Fund $1.4 billion
Special Revenue $1.4 billion
Lottery $166 million
Excess Lottery $312 million
Federal Funds $4.1 billion
Federal Block Grants $403 million

The Governor’s introduced version of the FY 2010 budget bill as presented in February 2009 contained a total General Revenue appropriation of $3,971,794,588 with all accounts being fully funded. Mid-session, revised revenue estimates led to a reduction of total General Revenue available for appropriation by $197,493,639, leaving the total General Revenue available for appropriation at $3,788,000,000. Expenditure reductions were across the board and ranged from 2% to 10%.[13]

Budget background

See also: West Virginia state budget

West Virginia's fiscal year begins July 1 and ends June 30 of the following year. Agency budget requests are submitted by September, after which the Governor compiles his recommendation for the new fiscal year. Officials revenue estimates are completed by November prior to the Governor's final budget recommendations. Governor submits the budget the second Wednesday in January to the Legislature who proceed to hold a series of hearings from January through March.; in a year following a gubernatorial election, the date was extended to the second Wednesday in February.[14][15]

Budget figures

The following table provided a history of West Virginia's expenditures and gross domestic product (GDP).

Fiscal Year Expenditures (billions) GDP (billions)
2000 $10.0[16] $41.5[16]
2001 $11.0[16] $43.4[16]
2002 $12.0[16] $45.0[16]
2003 $12.1[16] $46.5[16]
2004 $12.2[16] $49.7[16]
2005 $12.1[16] $53.0[16]
2006 $12.4[16] $56.0[16]
2007 $12.6[16] $57.7[16]
2008 $12.9[16] $59.5[16]
2009 $13.2*[16] $61.3*[16]

Accounting principles

See also: West Virginia government accounting principles

The West Virginia State Auditor's Office was responsible for examining state and local governments and school boards as well as paying all the state's bills. Glen B. Gainer III had been elected State Auditor every four years since 1992. County audit reports were published online, but the site was not user friendly to the public being geared towards state agency use.[17][18]

The Institute for Truth in Accounting] (IFTA) rates West Virginia “Tardy” in filing the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) – The annual report of state and local governmental entities. IFTA rated 22 states timely, 22 states tardy, and 6 states as worst. IFTA did not consider West Virginia's CAFRs, and those of the other states, to be accurate representations of the state’s financial condition because the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) basis did not included significant liabilities for the pension plans and for other post employment benefits, such as health care.[19] West Virginia's CAFRs were publications of the West Virginia Department of Administration, Finance Division, Financial Accounting and Reporting Section. Ross Taylor was State Comptroller and Director of the Finance Division.[20]

Credit Rating Fitch Moody's S&P
West Virginia[21] AA- Aa3 AA-

Budget transparency

West Virginia had limited transparency. The West Virginia legislature website posts information about state grant awards but unfortunately "The Budget & Spending Transparency Act," which would have created greater spending transparency, did not pass during the 2009 legislative session. However, in state legislator Kelli Sobonya's own words, "I would reintroduce this bill [The Budget & Spending Transparency Act] again next session for consideration."[22][23]

Government tools

The following table was helpful in evaluating the level of transparency provided by a state spending and transparency database:

Criteria for evaluating spending databases
State Database Searchability Grants Contracts Line Item Expenditures Dept/Agency Budgets Public Employee Salary Exemption Level
State Agency Grant Awards N
600px-Red x.png
600px-Yes check.png
600px-Red x.png
600px-Red x.png
600px-Red x.png
600px-Red x.png
See also: Evaluation of West Virginia state website

Economic stimulus transparency

West Virginia would receive approximately $209 million from the federal government under H.R. 1586, a $26 billion plan to give states money for Medicaid and education that the President signed into law on August 10, 2010.[24]

The Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 designated $787 billion to be spent throughout the U.S. Of that $787 billion stimulus package, it was estimated that 69%, or over $541 billion, would be administered by state governments.[25] West Virginia would receive an estimated $947,150,016.[26]

  • The state established an economic recovery website to show how legislators and government officials in West Virginia were spending Federal funds.[27]

Independent transparency sites

West Virginia University students compiled a report finding that the state was a "laggard" in the area of budget transparency and making recommendations for increased transparency, including, "All agencies, boards and commissions should make their budget requests and presentations available online. There should be common standards for agency disclosures across state government to make sure that information was available to the public in an easy-to-find manner. Setting online public disclosure standards that match those of other states with high marks for transparency and accountability."[28][29]

Public employee salary information

A searchable database of salaries of West Virginia state employees was available thanks the Herald Dispatch.[30]

See also

West Virginia government sector lobbying

West Virginia public pensions

West Virginia state budget

External links

Additional reading


  1. 1.0 1.1 Businessweek "W.Va. gov't begins new budget year $24M in black" August 2, 2010
  2. Federal Fund Information for States “ARRA FMAP Extension & Education Jobs Fund Totals” Aug. 11, 2010
  3. H.R. 1586
  4. State Budget Solutions “States Hide Trillions in Debt” July 22, 2010
  5. State of West Virginia, Fiscal Year 2011
  6. USA Spending, State Guesstimated* Government Spending
  7. Times West Virginian,"Bright spots can outshine mandated budget cuts," December 30, 2009
  8. Times West Virginian, "$100M budget deficit not so alarming," November 8, 2009
  9. Associated Press, "WV Legislators Head into Special Session," November 18, 2009
  10. Associated Press, "W.Va. lawmakers begin 4th special session of '09," November 18, 2009
  11. Associated Press, "Lagging Revenues Threaten Budget Deficit in WV," November 3, 2009
  12. West Virginia Legislature, "Final Wrap Up," June 11, 2009
  13. West Virginia Legislature, "Final Wrap Up," June 11, 2009
  14. State of Virginia, "Budget Process," accessed April 8, 2009
  15. National Association of Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States," 2008
  16. 16.00 16.01 16.02 16.03 16.04 16.05 16.06 16.07 16.08 16.09 16.10 16.11 16.12 16.13 16.14 16.15 16.16 16.17 16.18 16.19 US Government Spending,"West Virginia State and Local spending," accessed April 8,2009
  17. West Virginia State Auditor's Office Web site, retrieved November 18, 2009
  18. audit reports
  19. Institute for Truth in Accounting, “The Truth About Balanced Budgets—A Fifty State Study,” Page 35
  20. CAFRs
  21. State of Indiana, “State Credit Ratings-as of June 24, 2009"
  22. West Virginia Republican Party, "Delegate Sobonya's guest editorial submitted to herald dispatch/wayne co. news," June 17, 2009
  23. State Grant Awards
  24. Federal Fund Information for States “ARRA FMAP Extension & Education Jobs Fund Totals” Aug. 11, 2010
  25. National Taxpayers Union, "A Letter to the Nation's Governors: Ensure Transparency and Accountability by Posting Stimulus Expenditures Online," March 10, 2009
  26. Wall Street Journal,"State Stimulus Spending," March 12, 2009
  27. [http://www.wvgov.org/sec.aspx?ID=115 West Virginia Recovery
  28. Accountability and Transparency in the West Virginia Budget Process: Moving West Virginia from Laggard to Pace Setter Sept. 2010
  29. WVU Budget Transparency Report
  30. Herald Dispatch Data Library