CHARLESTON, W.Va. – House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, issued the following statement today after the House rejected a Democrat-led amendment to stop $58.5 million of Rainy Day funds from going to pay current state bills, including immediate payments to ensure the medical needs of our citizens are met:
"Today's amendment was a shameful, thinly-veiled political ploy that was not intended to help the state’s public employees and retirees, but rather give some a talking point to use in campaigns at the expense of the poor and disabled," Speaker Armstead said. "The Democrats, bucking the governor from their own party, put forward an irresponsible proposal that would not have addressed the current Public Employees Insurance Agency challenges but would have, instead, hurt current recipients of health care in our state.
“While funding PEIA is a top priority for leaders of both parties, and we are working with the governor toward a solution, the proposal put forward today offered no long-term solutions. Instead, the Democrat-sponsored amendment would have taken away desperately needed funds for programs that provide health care and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits for our state's poor and disabled citizens. This proposal would have meant checks that must to go out in the next few weeks to help our neediest citizens would not be paid. This is partisan politics at its worse and not the kind of cooperation that benefits the citizens of West Virginia."