Day 61: The Legislature Passes a Budget, But Will Justice Sign It?

Apr 9, 2017

Nearly an hour after midnight on Sunday morning, the West Virginia Legislature completed action on a budget bill for the 2018 fiscal year.

The budget bill was passed, as amended in the Senate just before midnight, on a 22 to 12 party line vote. The House of Delegates concurred with those amendments on a 63-37 around 1:00 a.m. The bill now heads to Gov. Jim Justice.

The approved budget bill is not the negotiated plan the Governor presented during a 10 p.m. press conference. That plan was reportedly negotiated between Justice and Senate President Mitch Carmichael.

As explained on the floor by Senate Finance Chair Mike Hall, the bill:

•    Includes $90 million from the Rainy Day Fund

•    Cuts the medical services line item in Medicaid by $48.7 million

•    Cuts West Virginia University and Marshall University by 9 percent

•    Cuts West Virginia State University and Blue Ridge Community Technical College by 2 percent

•    Cuts all other higher education institutions by 4 percent

•    Does not include the proposed 2 percent teacher pay raise or cuts to the school aid formula

•    Cuts Regional Education Service Agencies by $3.6 million

•    Cuts the Educational Broadcasting Authority (West Virginia Public Broadcasting) by $1 million