|CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The last budget passed by the West Virginia Legislature created a $123 million deficit that needs to be closed by July 1, 2017.
Friday, the Governor announced that the continued analysis of West Virginia’s finances by the Justice Administration identified that there is approximately $120 million available to help close this year’s budget gap.
Governor Justice proposes to use approximately $60 million from special revenue accounts across state government and approximately $60 million in reappropriated funds- unspent money from the last five years. There is reappropriated money in the governor’s office, the Legislature, the Offices of the Insurance Commissioner, and other agencies across state government.
Following this development, the Governor suggests that the Legislature use as little money as possible from the state’s Rainy Day fund to plug the FY2017 budget hole.
“Powerful people in positions of responsibility kept kicking the can down the road and the budget they passed last year has left our state upside down by $123 million dollars,” said Governor Justice. “The Legislature has had years to sweep accounts and get a handle on our budget; in six weeks I’ve uncovered money to prevent another massive raid on the Rainy Day fund. On the campaign trail I promised I’d do a thorough top to bottom review of state government and I’m doing it every day to fix this budget crisis.”
Justice added, “This makes perfect business sense, and I’m not sure why it wasn’t done years ago. If we keep using Rainy Day money without a plan for the future, West Virginia’s bond rating will continue to deteriorate.”
Governor Justice has been working diligently to fix the budget crisis and has already presented two budgets to the Legislature that won’t cripple the state and create 48,000 immediate jobs. The Legislature has still not presented any budget alternative.