CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state legislature restored more than $1 million in funding to children and family programs Wednesday. The measure had bipartisan support in the House of Delegates and state Senate.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin made the cuts with his line-item veto power in the new state budget that begins July 1 but lawmakers heard from supporters of the groups to put the money backin and they did so, taking it from the Licensed Racetrack Regular Purse Fund.

“It restores those cuts and then some,” House Finance Committee Chairman Brent Boggs, D-Braxton, told fellow members before the vote. “We’re doing that and adding to it to get back where we were when it was vetoed out.”

Specifically, the legislature voted to fund $357,900 to Grants for Licensed Domestic Violence Programs, $150,464 to Family Resource Networks, $30,000 to Domestic Violence Legal Services Fund, $250,000 to In-Home Family Education, $80,000 to the Children’s Trust Fund and $200,000 to Child Advocacy Centers.

Del. J.B. McCuskey, R-Kanawha, said the legislature was prioritizing the most vulnerable in the society.

“I believe the government’s role, if nothing else, is to make sure we’re protecting the people who can’t protect themselves.

Gov. Tomblin cited duplication of services and a tight budget year when he orginally vetoed the funding. Wednesday he thanked the legislature for its work in the special session.

“The supplemental appropriations legislators approved today are from excess lottery funds, not general revenue, and I am pleased that they did not rely on the Rainy Day Fund. This allows the state to continue on a fiscally responsible path while still making investments in our communities,” Tomblin said.

A few hundred supporters of the programs rallied at the state capitol Tuesday. They called on Tomblin to restore the funding and lobbied lawmakers. Del. David Walker, D-Clay, said Wednesday that made a difference.

“They walked the halls and came and visited all of our rooms and drove this point home,” he said.

Supporters said the prevention programs would save the state money down the road. Del. Linda Phillips, D-Wyoming, said the state could pay now or later.

“Without the support, the counseling, the education that these programs provide, they are going to end up with legal services, in our jail systems. So we are going to be paying triple, maybe, who knows how many millions,” Phillips said.

Lawmakers passed the governor’s six-bill agenda including a fix to the new minimum wage law restoring the federal exemptions when it comes to 40-hour work weeks and overtime.

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Comments

  • Brian

    What are these people doing to better themselves besides getting funded by bureaucrats?

  • John

    I wonder why the $1.2 million dollar cuts to the senior services was not even mentioned? Part of this re-allocation could have been divided with the senior programs, and it would have helped both.
    Must be a money making machine in Charleston, as we are near broke, then all of the sudden a million here and a million there can be found. No wonder we don't trust the words of our politicians.

  • Sarah

    Paging Aaron, paging Aaron.

    I told you so.

  • T.

    What about the Courtesy Patrol?? Were they funded??

  • Bill MC

    Well now we know why nothing ever gets cut from government programs. Just say it's for kids or women and the money flows. No know can take care of themselves anymore without the almighty governmental program doing it!

  • Ron from Morgantown

    I get a little tired of the Gov constantly saying that we have a tight budget and therefore can't fund essential services . He may see this as being fiscally conservative but most observers just view it as being a tight wad. Nobody likes a Scrooge especially when so many of our citizens are hurting . The difference between enlightened societies and intolerant societies is a social safety net for the most vulnerable of its citizens . Democrats have always tried to protect and empower the masses who otherwise would have no voice . And Phillips is right - funding these programs is an investment not a cost to West Virginia . By the way , I didn't even know the Gov had "line item veto " privileges . God bless our teachers , state troopers , prison guards , DHHR workers , Dept of Highways workers , you are taken for granted by this Governor . Please vote for Democrats in the fall because if you think its bad now , think how bad it will be if the Republicans are in charge .

    • The bookman

      The money is only available because when revenues were popping, Manchin and the legislature held the line on spending. The budget was short $150M, and would have been worse had Tomblin not engaged in departmental cuts and freezes in hiring. My question is how does the Governor reconcile a veto that names duplicate services as the primary reason and then applaud the restoration of funds because the source changes? Are they not still duplicate services regardless of source of funding? Unbelievable, yet true!

      • Ron - from Morgantown

        While I'm glad these programs were restored. I think you raise an interesting point re the Gov explanation for the cuts originally . I guess if the funds come from lottery it is no longer a duplication of services ? The budget for West Va this year is 11B , total amount restored by lawmakers was 1.3 m . Chump change .

    • TLC

      It's this bad because Democrats are and have been in charge for 80 years !

  • Fred

    Can any of the groups receiving this funding point to any successes or are we just spending this money to create more 'victims' and pay the salaries of an every-growing army of social workers?

    • Hillbilly

      "Any government agency will work harder to preserve itself, than to fulfill its purpose"

  • George

    Same ole yellow bellied democrats--------can't even protect the life of the unborn child but you attempt to convince the citizens that you are out for our children's protection.....boy can't wait until election time......I can see that your knowledge of basic biology is very limited.."...apparently."................

  • Christy

    Good job Legislature!