CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Senate passed a bill that is a key part of the budget proposals presented by both the Legislature and the governor.
The bill would redirect money from the state’s workers compensation debt fund to the general fund.
The bill — “Authorizing redirection of certain amounts to General Revenue Fund” — doesn’t exactly quicken the pulse, but both the Legislature and Gov. Jim Justice are counting on it for the coming fiscal year.
Referred to as the “one-time workers comp debt fund revenue redirect, the governor’s budget proposal counts on it plugging a $38 million hole in the budget. Justice requested the bill, which was sponsored by Senate President Mitch Carmichael and Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso.
The budget outline presented a little less than two weeks ago by the Republican legislative leadership also attributed $38 million to the workers comp redirect.
A fiscal note from the state Insurance Commission attributes $33 million to the move.
A similar bill in the House of Delegates was passed Wednesday by the House Finance Committee.
State leaders are able to make this move because the state’s workers comp debt is largely paid off. The state’s workers comp system was privatized in 2005.
This was one of a few bills relating to the budget that are moving through the Legislature.
On Wednesday afternoon, both the House and Senate Finance committees passed bills intended to eliminate the state’s role in greyhound racing. Among the intended results is $15 million in redirected funding that in the past would have gone to the greyhound breeders fund and racing purses.