Governor Requests Budget Adjustments
Last week, Governor Tomblin sent a letter to the House and Senate leadership requesting an adjustment to the FY 2014 budget, which he previously submitted to the legislature at the beginning of the session. Governor Tomblin restores some of the 7.5% budget cuts that were included in the original budget and includes new funding for programs relating to the education reform bill. The House Finance Committee has included these adjustments in its version of the budget.
Below is a table of the adjustments:
The driving force behind the adjustments seems to be a new estimate for the school aid formula. The governor's request increases the local share of the school aid formula (which is determined by local property tax revenue) by $15 million, which then frees up $15 million in state funds. About $10 million of that is put back into education programs. The Supreme Court also reduced its request, freeing up an additional $4 million.
$5 million was put into the state's share of Medicaid, while the majority of the remaining adjustments were made to Corrections spending, as well as money for the WV State Police to add office space for the Criminal Records and Traffic Records sections.
Taken as a whole, the budget adjustments add $1.37 million in new spending. The letter does not explain where the revenue will come from for the increase, nor why certain adjustments were made in favor of other areas of the budget.