State Budgets 2012: West Virginia


West Virginia

To see more state budget news and information, visit State Budgets 2012

Budget Background:

  • Fiscal Year Begins: July 
  • Frequency of Legislative Cycle: Annual
  • Lesgislative Session for 2012: Convened January 11, 2012
  • Frequency of Budget Cycle: Annual

Learn more from the National Association of State Budget Officers

Budget News and Information: 2012


Official budget documents, 2012:

3/21/12: Governor's Veto Letter

Governor Tomblin filed 15 line-item objections to the Enrolled Committee Substitute for Senate Bill No. 160.

Read more: Governor's Veto Letter

3/16/12: Regular Session Adjourns Sine Die, Passes Budget Bill

The House and Senate completed legislation on Budget Bill Conference Report for Senate Bill 160, which relates to the 2013 FY Budget. The bill, Senate Bill 160 outlines the $11.6 billion state spending plan for the upcoming budget year.

Read more: West Virginia Legislature website

3/14/12: Tomblin extends session for budget

The West Virginia Legislature is extending its session to finish the work on the state budget.

The Legislature wrapped up the regular session on Saturday and remained in session for a few additional days until Tuesday to work exclusively on the state's budget.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin issued a proclamation Tuesday extending the 2012 legislative session for three additional days allowing further consideration of the budget bill.

Read more:

3/13/12: West Virginia tackles retiree health costs

West Virginia has become the first state to pledge tax revenue to help finance its retiree health care burden, a major development in states’ efforts to pay down their soaring health benefit liabilities.

In the session that ended Saturday (March 10), lawmakers approved legislation proposed by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin pledging $30 million a year in personal income tax collections to help reduce the gap between what the state promised to pay its retired employees for health care and what it set aside to meet those obligations. West Virginia’s retiree health care debt, which had reached $10 billion, was one of the highest per capita burdens in the country.

Read more: Stateline

3/9/12: Senate passes budget

The Senate passed its version of the budget this afternoon amid warnings of budget cuts next year.

Senators suspended Constitutional rules to advance the bill and then passed it unanimously. There are no across the board pay raises and no new projects or programs which require new funding. Finance Chairman Sen. Roman Prezioso warns that next year, there will have to be $200 million in budget cuts.

“We’re meeting the needs of the State. This is a clean, lean budget. We’ll get into conference with the House next week. There will be some differences. This Senate chose to err on the side of caution, put as much money into Medicaid as we can for next year’s budget because we’re going to have a $200 million deficit.  We’ll come back and try to cushion that blow. 

"We’ve yet to review the entirety of the House budget. We’ll get together next week and work out our differences, but basically, ours is lean."

Read more: West Virginia Public Broadcasting

3/6/12: Work on new $11B W.Va. budget begins

West Virginia state government would spend $11.6 billion next fiscal year under a proposed budget moving in the state Legislature.

The Senate Finance Committee began the annual budget process Monday by amending and advancing Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's spending plan.

The next budget year begins July 1. The committee changed Tomblin's proposal by a total of $7.7 million. It slightly reduced state road fund spending. It increased other spending to reflect additional special revenues. Medicaid is a chief driver of budget growth. It requires a $117 million increase.

Read more: The Marietta Times

2/28/12:WV Supreme Court asks Legislature to reduce budget

The state's highest court once again is asking for a budget reduction. In a Feb. 27 letter addressed to chairmen of the House and Senate finance committees, state Supreme Court Administrative Director Steve Canterbury asked for a reduction of $1,714,000.

Seven years ago, the judicial retirement system was underfunded at 50 percent but now is over-funded at more than 100 percent.

"The main reason the judicial retirement system is now so overly funded is due to the last two extraordinary years of investments, which reaped over double the 7 percent annual return prognosticated by the actuary," Canterbury wrote.

Read more: The State Journal

2/27/12: W.Va. reins in public retiree health benefit costs

West Virginia is already reaping benefits from recent efforts to rein in public retiree health benefit costs, officials say: They expect to shrink the projected funding shortfall further, by more than $1 billion, and a Wall Street credit rating agency appears ready to praise the state's handling of its last major liability.

Just a few months ago, the Public Employees Insurance Agency estimated a $10 billion gap between on-hand assets and health insurance coverage promised to teachers and other public workers once they retire. It was one of the largest unfunded liabilities, per-capita, from these non-pension benefits among the states.

But the agency cut that estimate in half to $5 billion late last year, through steps including limiting the annual growth of subsidies that help retirees pay their health premiums. Last week, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed legislation.....

Read more: CBS Money Watch

2/20/12 Governor seeing key successes in 2012 session of Legislature

With the West Virginia Legislature two-thirds of the way through its 2012 session, a pair of early and major successes has helped propel Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s 16-item agenda.

With 20 days left in the session .....

With scrutiny of Tomblin’s 2012-2013 state budget plan ongoing ......

Read more: The Register-Herald 

1/11/12 Tomblin's budget doesn’t include pay raises, prison

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin isn't budgeting for any state employee pay raises or new prisons next year as the state digs in to shore up a more than $300 million gap in funding for Medicaid.

That's to ensure taxpayers won't have to absorb any new taxes to foot the state's growing health care bill.

Tomblin is submitting a $4.5 billion balanced budget to lawmakers this week for the state fiscal year that begins July 1.

Read more: Charleston Daily Mail

Budget News and Information: Previous Budget Cycles


Official budget documents, 2011:

3/26/2011: Tomblin sows disappointment with vetoes to health budget

Read more: Gazette-Mail

3/24/2011: Tomblin signs W.Va. budget bill after vetoing $18.2M; keeps funding for pay raises

West Virginia will spend $18.2 million less than what lawmakers proposed during the next budget year, after acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin applied the line-item veto power before approving a now-$11.3 billion spending plan late Wednesday.

Most of Tomblin's cuts to the budget bill reduce spending backed by general tax revenues. That portion still exceeds $4 billion, and so remains the largest general revenue budget in state history. He also left intact $67 million for permanent pay raises for teachers, school workers, the elected judiciary and an array of state employees.

Read more: The Republic

3/11/11: W.Va. House approves new, $11.4B state budget

Lawmakers avoided cuts by balancing the budget bill with unspent surplus. The House Finance Committee added $48 million for one-time projects, and around $70 million in general and lottery revenues for proposed pay raises. The Legislature's regular session ends midnight Saturday. Lawmakers expect to complete a final spending plan in an extended session next week.

Read more: BusinessWeek

1/17/11: As other states struggle, W.Va. considers tax cut

Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's proposed $26 million tax cut is but one sign of West Virginia's stable government finances as other states brace for painful budgetary choices.

Read more: The Intelligencer: Wheeling News-Register