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W.Va. House of Delegates passes balanced budget, urges Governor to sign it

From the W.Va. House of Delegates:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, Sunday urged Gov. Jim Justice to sign the balanced budget the Legislature passed early Sunday morning.  

At around 1 a.m. Sunday, the House of Delegates passed the updated version of House Bill 2018, the budget bill, which includes no tax increases and provides $4.1 billion in General Revenue spending over the coming fiscal year.

“Last night, the House not only fulfilled its constitutional duty to pass a balanced budget, but fulfilled our promise to do so by controlling government spending, living within our means and protecting our citizens from tax increases,” Speaker Armstead said. “We have done our job and presented the Governor with a spending plan that avoids drastic cuts to essential services and education, while also avoiding significant tax increases. It’s now time for the Governor to live up to the campaign promise he made the West Virginia people and sign this budget that does not raise their taxes.

“For this entire session, Governor Justice has criticized Republican lawmakers for not embracing his massive tax increase proposals,” Speaker Armstead said. “But the people in our districts have told us loud and clear they are tired of seeing tax-and-spend Charleston politicians constantly asking for more money to maintain a government that’s grown too large for our state’s population.

“The Governor needs to accept the reality that his tax increase proposals simply do not have the support of the vast majority of elected representatives in the Legislature,” Speaker Armstead said. “He should sign this budget, and then begin working with us as we continue our efforts to streamline this government and make it more efficient so we don’t have to continue waging these fights in the future.”

The budget passed early Sunday morning has the following features:

  • No tax increases.
  • $4.1 billion in General Revenue spending.
  • A reduction in a DHHR spending line item that can be flexibly managed by the Secretary.
  • No cuts to the elderly and disabled waiver programs administered by DHHR.
  • An 8-percent cut to Marshall and West Virginia universities, 2-percent cuts to West Virginia State University and Blue Ridge Community Technical College, and 4-percent cuts to all other state higher education institutions. (The percentage cuts apply to the state’s portion of the funding for these schools, and would translate to about a 1-2 percent reduction to their overall budgets, factoring in the revenue they collect from tuition and other sources.)
  • Up to a $90 million withdrawal from the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

Video of the House budget bill presentation and debate is available via W.Va. Public Broadcasting’s YouTube channel, at: 


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