CHARLESTON – The West Virginia Senate tonight passed House Bill 101, the budget bill for Fiscal Year 2017 by a vote of 18-16.
The bill fills the Fiscal Year 2017 budget gap of $271 million and balances the budget with no additional revenue measures. It includes approximately $30.5 million in base budget cuts which includes a 2 percent across-the-board cut with the exception of higher education, the Division of Corrections, the West Virginia State Police, and the Department of Health and Human Resources. It also expires approximately $35.5 million of one-time money from various Special Revenue accounts, and includes $8.2 million in money from the General Revenue Surplus Section, which would expire money from the Tax Reduction and Federal Funding Increased Compliance (TRAFFIC) account, West Virginia Senate account, and DHHR.
Approximately $190.9 million will be taken from the Revenue Shortfall Reserve Fund. After accounting for funds expired from reappropriated General Revenue, the net amount of money House Bill 101 takes from the Rainy Day Fund is $182.6 million. Any revenue-generating measures passed after House Bill 101 would ultimately reduce the amount of money taken from the Revenue Shortfall Reserve Fund.
“This budget is the result of countless hours of hard work by our Finance Chairman Mike Hall and House Finance Chairman Eric Nelson and their staffs, and through their diligence they made the tough decisions that needed to be made to keep our promises to our public employees and our citizens,” Senate President Bill Cole, R-Mercer, said. “Though our economic situation in West Virginia is dire, it is my sincere hope that Governor Tomblin will sign this budget and we can look toward the future.”