The Fiscal Year 2018 budget bill is on its way to Governor Jim Justice's desk after the West Virginia House of Delegates adopted Senate changes to the bill late Friday night.
“This balanced budget controls government spending, lives within our means and prevents a government shutdown,” said House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha. “I strongly encourage Governor Justice to sign this bill and ease our citizens’ concerns.”
This is the second budget the Legislature has sent to Governor Justice’s desk this year.
The $4.225 billion state government spending plan features no tax increases for the General Revenue Fund, no cuts to the K-12 school aid formula and no cuts to the Medicaid healthcare waiver programs that benefit elderly or disabled residents. The budget also averts severe cuts to higher education institutions.
This budget spends roughly $85 million less than current fiscal year spending.
Cuts to higher education institutions were rendered necessary by reductions in tax collections, particularly severance taxes in the energy industry, but this budget avoids the drastic 11% higher education cuts contained in the original Senate plan.