30 December 2009

More on W.Va.'s Midyear Budget Cuts

Manchin administration officials tell The Associated Press that they expect West Virginia's share of the federal stimulus funds to offset much of the 3.4 percent cut that the governor has ordered for executive branch agencies.

"Administration officials expect to tap stimulus funds to replace $57.6 million for public schools, $12.2 million for higher education and up to $27.7 million for Medicaid," the article said. "Stimulus dollars had also helped West Virginia avoid painful cuts when lawmakers passed the current budget in May."

The midyear cuts are meant to compensate for a projected general revenue shortfall of $120 million. The May cuts had totaled $197 million. "Those two rounds of cuts puts this year's general revenue budget on par with 2007's," House Finance Chairman Harry Keith White told AP.

Manchin had already asked state agencies to cut their 2010-2011 budgets by 5 percent (except for education, where the cut is 4 percent). That whack "would total around $189 million, and would appear in the budget bill Manchin will introduce next month when the Legislature begins its 60-day regular session," the article said.

The News and Sentinel of Parkersburg checks in with area lawmakers on the governor's order, while MetroNews hears from Manchin's revenue secretary.

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