18 March 2010

Legislature 2010: Budget

With the Legislature in extended session, a House-Senate committee "is shaping the finer details for a new, $11.6 billion spending plan for West Virginia state government," The Associated Press reports.

Each chamber passed a version of the budget bill before the regular session ended Saturday. Their totals differ by less than $2.4 million. Among some of the details reported by AP:

  • Delegates voted to apply an additional $18.7 million toward the massive funding shortfall that has long plagued the state’s teacher pension fund. Senators chose to fund that through general revenue budgeted for state school aid.
  • The House has also added $22.2 million for a pair of waiver programs that provide in-home care to seniors and the disabled.
  • The two chambers are in sync over $2.7 million for 417 fairs, festivals and other causes back home.
  • The House and Senate also differ by less than $145,000 in the roughly $23 million for the state Development Office. That section supplies scores of “community participation projects” requested by constituents in member districts.

"Federal stimulus dollars and lottery surplus have largely offset proposed cuts scattered throughout the new budget," the article said. "As a result, West Virginia has been spared the agony ongoing in other states facing budget deficits that totaled $21.9 billion as of December, according to a National Conference of State Legislatures report."

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