CHARLESTON, W.Va. — After several weeks of wrangling, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and legislative leaders have reached an agreement on how much money to take from the AG’s Consumer Protection Fund to help balance the state budget.

The spending plan, expected to be approved by lawmakers Friday, will include $9 million of the fund that currently has a balance of $19 million.

I am pleased to announce that the Office of the Attorney General will be returning $9 million from the Consumer Protection Fund to the Legislature to help balance the state’s budget and assist senior citizens and people with disabilities,” Morrisey said in a prepared release. “Through our actions, we anticipate many West Virginians will be taken off of the Medicaid Aged and Disabled Waiver Program waiting list and receive the health care they need at home.”

House and Senate leaders were at odds during the regular session on how much to take from the fund. The Senate proposed $5 million but the House $12 million. The fund is used to finance the operations of the Consumer Protection Division along with reimbursements to state residents who have been wronged.

Attorney General Morrisey said during difficult economic times every office must do its part. He said he’s hopeful the $9 million will mean less has to be taken from the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

This agreement is consistent with my pledge when I was running for office to return settlement moneys to the Legislature for appropriation, while simultaneously ensuring the Consumer Protection Division is properly funded,” Morrisey said. “Since coming into office in 2013, I have initiated the return of approximately $16.5 million settlement monies back to the Legislature.”

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will make the final call on the state budget. He does have line-item veto power.

 

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Comments

  • Bob

    Sara,

    You really got it right! Morrisey fought like heck all the way. He didn't want to give a dime to the state. The house forced his hand. Bledsoe would NEVER disagree with his tea party wacko buddy. Mr. Bledsoe, keep being yourself. Marion County wouldn't elect you dog catcher. Thank goodness!

    I'm sure Butch agrees!

    • The bookman

      Sarah has it backwards, and if you have an axe to grind with Bledsoe, then have at it somewhere else. Morrisey refused to allow anyone to force his hand, and therefore the compromise. Basic math would tell you that this isn't the first time he has returned judgements to the state coffers in his brief nearly half term as this value is 9 million, yet the story indicates a total of 16.5 million returned.

      It was a campaign issue raised by Morrisey, and a promise delivered. No level of misrepresentation by you or Sarah can change the obvious facts on this issue.

      Go fight your Marion County brawl in an appropriate venue.

      • The bookman

        Below is a news story a few days following his defeat of McGraw in November of 2012.

        http://www.theintelligencer.net/page/content.detail/id/577057/New-A-G--Calling-For-Audit.html?nav=515

        Good luck making the case that his stated intentions do not match his actions. It was Miley and Kessler playing politics with this issue, along with willing loyalist partisan folks like Sarah and yourself who after 16 months can't seem to accept the fact that a duly elected Republican replaced former AG McGraw. If I were you, I would look to the 2014 and 2016 campaign instead of whining about 2012.

  • Gman

    Did Darrel McGraw every voluntary give money back in his decades of being in the position. Mr. Morrisey and his staff have represented the state with professionalism.
    Good Job

  • Independent View

    And you would rather have Darrel McGraw back, doling out that money to his campaign contributing lawyer buddies and spending hundreds of thousands of those same dollars on trinkets to further his political goals??
    Unbelieveable that some would trade someone that stands up to protect his budget and office for a good ole boy that displayed both ignorance and apathy regarding the AG's office. Strange how when it's a Democrat firmly entrenched in a state agency and part of the good ole boy network that tries to protect his budget and is unwilling to compropmise with the minority party it's somehow acceptable behavior??

  • Sarah

    Morrisey is such a liar. He fought it all along and had NO CHOICE. Thank God for the House standing strong in all this for the work of the people. He's been exposed to the people that know and seniors have taken notice. We won't forget either.

    • Barry Bledsoe

      Sarah,
      I hate to be so blunt, but you seriously don't have a clue.

    • The bookman

      He ran on the issue and followed through on it. More politicians should take note of his candor and honesty.

      • sarah

        He did not. He still has 10 million in his slush fund and at MOST will only need 4 million. If he planned on giving it back, then why wait until the Legislature made him? He's lying to you and you are drinking the cool aid like a drunken sailor.

        • TLC

          You are the liar. He is doing a great for West Virginia. Thank God WV was smart enough to put him is office.

        • The bookman

          See below!

  • The bookman

    Nice to see cooler heads prevail. Welcome to life in a two party system. We need to get used to it!

    • Sarah

      what a crock! You were against this from the beginning!

      • The bookman

        Not true, and neither was Morrisey. Like didn't like the way they attempted it before, and it failed to pass. It appears the grownups realized they were acting as children and righted the ship.

        Angry? You seem so angry.

        • sarah

          No anger just calling out lies when I see them. Maybe it is your emotions clouding your senses. Most don't like being called out on their misrepresentations.

          You said taking money from his slush fund was just a partisan measure when I told you to stop typing with your emotions and realize that no agency needs more than one years budget in their slush fund. NOT ONE AGENCY especially when the state is tapping into reserves. You were so clouded with partisan anger you disagreed vehemently. I'm just making clear you remember your real position instead of the new one you chose to portray.

          • The bookman

            You may have perceived it that way, but that was not my position, nor are you being honest regarding Morrisey and his intentions with regard to the fund. As you can read for yourself, he has returned back to the legislature additional funds not included in this disbursement, fulfilling his promise to ensure the funds were properly appropriated. Next time you accuse someone of misrepresenting the facts or changing their story, it would behoove you to get YOUR facts in order. My issue was the unilateral action of the legislature swiping the fund without proper consultation with the AG. I stand by my posts on this topic, and they are consistently in favor of a cooperative distribution of funds back to the legislature. That is what has transpired and that's a good thing.

          • Sarah

            I don't like lying. He's a liar. If that sounds "inflamed" in your mind, so be it. In my world, it is calling a spade a spade. Nothing emotional about it.

            You were against them taking money from the AG because it was "partisan" but now you are for it? You said it was only about the House Leadership detesting Morrisey. As I stated before, it wasn't an emotional issue or partisan, it was a budget issue. The legislature took the money for those reasons. Don't pretend the AG was offering up the money because he didn't have to wait until the legislature took it. He said it would "GUT" his consumer protection division when they suggested it and stated they "promised" him 3 years worth of money to keep in the account.

            Remember Morrisey is the same guy that also said McGraw "implied" at a parade during the campaign that the Cardinal Health suit was filed to retaliate against Morrisey. He seriously said it.

            He has ethical issues that are extremely troubling and you pretend McGraw's issues make it not a big deal? I didn't know McGraw, if he was unethical, I'm glad he's gone but that doesn't mean we should not take this guy's lies to task. Morrisey is a liar. If McGraw was too, by all means state it as much as you want. Just make sure you call all spades a spade. I do.

          • The bookman

            The bookman
            The AG agrees that the CPF should not be held as a slush fund by his office and go through appropriate channels, unlike the previous AG. He ran on that issue. But to raid the fund leaving less than its operational budget is about as fiscally responsible as the rest of this poor excuse for a legislative session. Try to open your eyes and not be so transparently partisan.
            March 4, 2014 at 10:49 am |

            Sarah
            You're calling me transparently partisan? Pot meet kettle.

            As far as leaving the operational budget less than what is needed, they can probably fix that if it becomes an issue but there is NO REASON to keep 19 million in there. If the AG ran on that, then he should have already given it back. He should have 4.1 million in that account for operational use if that is what he campaigned on. (PERIOD)
            March 4, 2014 at 10:59 am |

            The bookman
            Sarah,

            I'm not being partisan by standing for an above board approach. The AG not only campaigned on the principle of turning over the peoples money to the legislature, but agreed to do so following his election to office. The framework for such appropriation should include the AG's office, and the development of an appropriate balance to maintain should come with his input. The revenue stream for this fund is not predictable, nor is it certain. The democratic leadership detests Morrisey, and they are taking what might be their last shot at him on their way out the door. By blindly following them over the cliff, you reveal your true partisanship. How can anyone hound this AG over his use of the Consumer Protection Division while turning a blind eye to his predecessor and his actions as AG? But there's always at least one, isn't there Sarah?
            March 4, 2014 at 12:47 pm |

            The above thread is the back and forth on this issue from the previous story you claim my position differs from today. Go back and review it. My position remains consistent and you misrepresent the conversation. It's archived on this site, so you may feel free to ensure I did not edit the contents. You're entirely too emotional, and it makes me ponder why? What is it about Morrisey that inflames you to confabulate a story?

          • NinthGate

            Sarah taking The bookman to the woodshed! Go Girl!