CHARLESTON, W.Va. — What’s been a difficult budget year for the state of West Virginia will continue to the end of the fiscal year Sunday.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin issued an executive order Friday giving him the authority to reduce spending by $17.7 million in part of the state Medicaid budget to make up for lower-than-expected revenue collections. State law requires a balanced budget June 30.

(Read executive order here.)

Acting Revenue Jason Pizatella told MetroNews Friday the Medicaid account has been overfunded for several years and the cut won’t hurt Medicaid services.

“It will not have any impact whatsoever the services provided by Medicaid for children, families and doctors,” Pizatella said.

File photo

Jason Pizatella

The state’s tax revenues have been below estimate for the past 12 months. A struggling coal industry and low prices for natural gas have been the key contributors. The Tomblin administration predicted earlier this year the state would end the fiscal year $73 million below estimates so the legislature cut $28 million in state spending in March and the state spent a $45 million emergency fund to take care of state income tax refunds. Pizatella said unfortunately the state is going to end the fiscal year about $90.7 million below revenue estimates so they had to come up with another $17.7 in cuts.

“This is strictly a timing and a cash flow issue here at the end of the fiscal year. There will be no differences in services whatsoever,” he said.

The Tomblin administration is hoping for better revenues in the new fiscal year that begins Monday. Pizatella said coal and natural gas should do better.

‘It’s not all bad news, we think there are brighter days ahead, but this particular day it is tough as we close the 2013 fiscal year,” Pizatella said.

 

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Comments

  • Papabear

    Well the governor just cut 17.7 Million dollars from Medicade. Well is that just DUCKY. I Happen to be a Senior Citizen who could have benifited from the Medicade Waiver Program. This so call head to the state government shoud get his head out of his anal cavity and wake up as he may be out of a jib come next election.

  • Conchop

    Too bad they didn't legalize medical marijuana of recreational marijuana. Too bad they didn't modify our legal hemp industry.

    That would have just started bringing in 40 M$ in tax for medical marijuana, 100 M$ in tax for recreational marijuana, and "OMG the sky is the limit" for industrial hemp taxes.

    Then there would be all the savings from prisons, marijuana enforcement, etc etc.

    Looks like we're gonna have a lot more pot holes....

  • Politicians_Creep_Me_Out

    Cut the budget? Gosh, that would be easy if ordinary taxpayers were running state government rather than the money hogs. That's right, where did Manchin store all that surplus? Did Tomblin use it to buy himself a steak dinner? Just wait to Governor Tennant comes in a few years from now and see how the new hogs do. Talk about a shortfall, you'll see it then.

  • susanf

    Not sure I understand Revenue Secretary Pizatella's thinking. Now, if there is a budget shortfall that required taking money from the Medicaid budget to balance the general revenue budget, just how does he expect the state to put that money back into the Medicaid budget?? Sounds like a classic example of robbing Peter to pay Paul. On the other hand, I see absolutely no problem w/cutting the Medicaid budget - it is out of control anyway!

  • WV Guy

    Mike:

    There is about approx. $1 billion of the recent surpluses in the states rainy day funds. They have not been spent.

    • Magic Mike

      If that is true then we are much better off then California.

  • Magic Mike

    What happened to the surplus that Manchin built up? What did Tomlin spend all that money on?

  • WV Worker

    We could save money by cutting some salaries in Charleston, like judges, Attorney General Asst. raises that were given to higher ups without anyone knowing.