CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The finance committees in the House of Delegates and state Senate passed their own versions of the budget bill Tuesday and the committees differ on how much money to take out of the state’s Rainy Day Fun to balance next fiscal year’s spending plan.

The House bill sticks with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s plan to take nearly $84 million from the fund but the Senate version takes $125 million from Rainy Day.

The Rainy Day Fund currently has a balance of $920 million and some fear taking too much out would hurt the state’s bond rating. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Roman Prezioso told committee members he believes they are okay for this year. He said what gives him the most concern is having to go back into the fund next year.

“When we start getting in around this amount and next year around 220 or 225 (million dollars) the bond rating is going to be in jeopardy,” Prezioso predicted.

Next year may be the year for tax increases according to the chairman.

“We may well be advised to look at some revenue enhancements or restructuring our tax structures to come up with some additional dollars,” he said. “I’m confident we’ll get through this year but next year may be our toughest year.”

The Senate and House will pass different versions of the budget bill and then iron out the differences in next week’s extended legislative session.

 

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Comments

  • Independent View

    Every time we as taxpayers and voters begin to hope that our elected representatives can curtail their spending, while utilizing a "hands offf" approach to the Rainy Day Fund, our hopes are again dashed!
    "Next year may be the year for tax increases according to the chairman." What a coincidence, next year is not an election year.
    Rather than raise taxes in an election year and potentailly get thrown out of office, the attitude becomes: "quick, somebody get a hammer so we can break the Rainy Day Fund's Piggybank!

    • ViennaGuy

      Note how talk about the spending side of the equation has been minimal ...

      • me

        Funny isn't it. I have never seem so Mich spending at the local and federal level like I have seen in the last 5 plus years.

  • Aaron

    So our leaders know we need to either cut spending drastically, which they are unwilling to do thus the next solution is to raise taxes. They KNOW this has to be done yet they fear doing so might cost them reelection.

    It's too bad we do not have an educated voting populace that will throw them out for their continued lack of leadership.

    • The bookman

      I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today....so says Wimpy from Popeye the Sailor Man! We deserve better leaders. If the voters return the Democrats to the House, then we get the government we deserve! Let's hope we deserve better come November.

      • wvu999

        Are these the same Democrats that built the rainy day fund up to almost a billion dollars? Yeah, I thought so

        • Aaron

          I think most liberals called those Democrats DINO's if I'm not mistaken.

          Am I mistaken wvu999?

        • The bookman

          Actually, no they aren't the same. Remember there has been a change in leadership, and the new guys aren't getting the job done. Let's face it. This is West Virginia, where even the Democrats would be Republicans in most other states. We have our token Libs in the legislature, but over the last few decades, fiscal conservative spending and tax reduction positioned this State better than most others during the recent National Financial Crisis. I give them kudos for that, and have repeatedly said so. The problem was clearly identified years ago that these two years were going to loom large in the level of difficulty to balance. As a conservative, Republican or Democrat, it was unconscionable to conduct this session the way it has been conducted. Political posturing at the expense of our financial integrity. Postponing the inevitable revenue increases to next years session only makes that task more difficult. Can you not see that?

          • ViennaGuy

            +1. Well said, bookman!