Our Broken Budget

West Virginia Executive Magazine - Some could see the $381 million revenue shortfall coming. Others were blindsided by it, recognizing a problem only after the regular legislative session ended without a budget bill. A steady flow of complaints with an undercurrent of urgency became the conversational norm among outraged citizens. If the budget bill wasn't passed in time, state government would face a shutdown. Read.

West Virginia's financial situation is a precarious one at best. While not wounded by the national recession to the extent other states have been, West Virginia in no way escaped unscathed. With a crippled coal economy and resulting plummet of severance tax revenue; a natural gas industry that boomed too quickly due to infrastructure constraints, causing prices to bottom out; an aging population with rising health care costs and a structured, annual decrease in federal Medicaid funding on top of a revenue gap that has been growing for four years, it's no wonder the state budget is in the shape it's in.

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