31 May 2009

W.Va. Passes New Budget

The House of Delegates voted 83-12 and the Senate was unanimous to pass a new, $11.5 billion state budget, The Associated Press reports.

The amended budget, which has $197 million less in general revenue and lottery spending that originally proposed, reflects future revenue projections dampened by the recession.

AP also detailed the House-Senate compromise released Saturday. "Federal stimulus dollars, postponed debt payments and shuffled revenue sources are helping the West Virginia Legislature balance a new state budget with few painful cuts," that article observes, adding that "lawmakers are also on notice that the threats of deficits won’t disappear after this year."

Lawmakers on Sunday upped the federal stimulus funding they plan to tap to offset the cuts, from $78 million to $81 million. The difference reflects additional money for Medicaid.

The Legislature has posted the compromise budget bill online. It has also posted the special session call issued by Gov. Joe Manchin.

Manchin added two items to its agenda Sunday. One addresses
county strip club ordinances, while the other proposes $150 million from bond sales to improve higher education campuses, state parks, the Capitol Complex and other state facilities.

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