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Comparing the FY 2017 and FY 2018 Budgets

Earlier this week, this post covered all the changes in the final FY 2018 budget with the governor’s original proposal, with the final budget coming in at $280.3 million below the governor’s original proposal. But how does it compare with last year’s budget?

The FY 2018 base budget (General Revenue, Lottery, and Excess Lottery) totaled $4.653 billion, $46 million more than the FY 2017 budget, which totaled $4.607 billion. Most of that increase can be attributed to Medicaid. General Revenue appropriations for Medicaid are increased by $60.9 million from FY 2017. This increase is due to the use of $70 million in Rainy Day Funds in FY 2017 for Medicaid, which lowered FY 2017’s General Revenue appropriations. FY 2018’s budget does not use the Rainy Day Fund, and makes up for it with an increase in General Revenue appropriations. So even though the state is appropriating less overall for Medicaid in FY 2018, General Revenue appropriations have increased.

Aside from General Revenue appropriations for Medicaid, nearly every other area of the budget is cut compared to FY 2017. Executive Branch agencies are cut by $2.7 million, the Department of Commerce is cut by $4.1 million, the State Department of Education is cut by $12.9 million, Education and the Arts is cut by $2.4 million, DHHR other than Medicaid is cut by $7.7 million, and Higher Education is cut by a total of $19 million. The only areas of the budget to see a significant increase over FY 2017 are payments to the Teacher’s Retirement System Unfunded Liability (+$23.3 million) and the WV State Police (+$7.1 million). The table below details all of the changes from FY 2017 to FY 2018.

FY 2018 continues the downward trend for state expenditures. Since 2012, only Medicaid, foster care, and the Judiciary have seen an increase in General Revenue spending (Senior Services was not fully part of General Revenue in FY 2012). Higher Education has seen the biggest divestment, with appropriations declining by $74 million since 2012. Overall, General Revenue spending has only increased by 1.9 percent since 2012.

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