Charleston, W.Va. – On Thursday, leaders of the West Virginia House of Delegates Liberty Caucus introduced a finished plan that will balance the state government’s budget without raising taxes.
Delegates Pat McGeehan, R-Hancock, and Michael Folk, R-Berkeley, who lead the legislative caucus, said the purpose of the bill is to reduce and halt the growth of government in Charleston without further burdening state residents with increased taxation.
“The bill we carefully put together will reduce spending by $84 million from the current fiscal year’s level, which essentially cuts $402 million from the Governor’s proposed massive increased-spending budget,” Delegates Folk and McGeehan said.
House Liberty Caucus leaders said their overall plan was to target bureaucracies in Charleston by getting rid of old re-appropriated funds from agency accounts unused from the previous fiscal years, as well as cutting “corporate welfare” and business subsidies from the Department of Commerce.
Under the independent budget bill, teachers would also get a 2-percent pay raise while fully preserving the state’s Promise Scholarship funding.
“While this is not a perfect budget, we believe it is a rational approach to balancing the state government’s checkbook in difficult economic times,” Delegate McGeehan said. “We carefully took into account concerns from different delegates in both political parties, because we knew this bill needed to be bipartisan. At the end of the day we all agreed that this is the right thing to do, since so many of our residents are just trying to make ends meet.”
The West Virginia House of Delegates Liberty Caucus is a group of roughly a dozen legislators committed to reducing bureaucracy and preventing increased taxation.