WV Legislature passes $11.17 billion budget - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

WV Legislature passes $11.17 billion budget

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Calacino's in Beckley is home to Mountaineer football

    Calacino's in Beckley is home to Mountaineer football

    Calacino's in Beckley is home to Mountaineer football

    Saturday, August 30 2014 5:40 PM EDT2014-08-30 21:40:42 GMT
    The Mountaineers have thousands of fans, but Calacino's in Beckley is one local business that relies on them to keep their doors open.Jerseys, and posters fill the walls and Calacino's owner, Jerry Zaferatos , said in college football you cant count anyone out."I wouldn't have this business if I listened to people saying, you don't have a chance," Zaferatos said.Dominique Calicino opened the business back in the early 1930's and the owner says that he doesn't know where they would be without ...
    The Mountaineers have thousands of fans, but Calacino's in Beckley is one local business that relies on them to keep their doors open.Jerseys, and posters fill the walls and Calacino's owner, Jerry Zaferatos , said in college football you cant count anyone out."I wouldn't have this business if I listened to people saying, you don't have a chance," Zaferatos said.Dominique Calicino opened the business back in the early 1930's and the owner says that he doesn't know where they would be without ...
  • One person injured after ATV accident in Fayette County

    One person injured after ATV accident in Fayette County

    Saturday, August 30 2014 4:37 AM EDT2014-08-30 08:37:47 GMT
    Emergency crews were called to the scene of a ATV accident, just before 10 pm Friday.According to Fayette County 911 the ATV was struck by a vehicle along the 1900 block of Rt 60 Anstead area of Fayette County.One person was transported by helicopter, to a local hospital for treatment, The extent of those injuries or what caused the accident is not yet known at this time.The Fayette County Sheriff Department is investigating.
    Emergency crews were called to the scene of a ATV accident, just before 10 pm Friday.According to Fayette County 911 the ATV was struck by a vehicle along the 1900 block of Rt 60 Anstead area of Fayette County.One person was transported by helicopter, to a local hospital for treatment, The extent of those injuries or what caused the accident is not yet known at this time.The Fayette County Sheriff Department is investigating.
  • Intruder Kicks in Door at Apartment in Beckley

    Intruder Kicks in Door at Apartment in Beckley

    Friday, August 29 2014 11:27 PM EDT2014-08-30 03:27:05 GMT
    Beckley Police are searching for two suspects after a burglary at the Lewis Ritchie Apartments in Beckley around 10:00 Friday night (8/29). 
    Beckley Police are searching for two suspects after a burglary at the Lewis Ritchie Apartments in Beckley around 10:00 Friday night (8/29). 

A tight budget comes come together quickly.

The West Virginia Legislature passed House Bill 2014, the budget bill, in just three days of an extended session.

The $11.17 billion budget is a lean one, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Roman Prezioso said the conference committee appointed to work on it had "serious challenges," but it came together the fastest he'd ever seen in his 25 years in the Legislature.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin had warned that Fiscal Year 14 would be one of the tightest in recent memory, and asked most state agencies to trim their budgets by 7.5 percent.

Prezioso said the budget was about $12 million less than what was appropriated for the previous fiscal year, and the Legislature's budget has additional cuts from Tomblin's proposal, with the "ultimate goal of restoring funds to vital services and worthwhile programs."

The House of Delegates passed the budget bill by a vote of 86 to 11, with Republican lawmakers voting against it, and the Senate approved the budget unanimously.

Prezioso presented the highlights to the Senate just before the vote. He said the budget included fully funded retirement payments for the various programs, and Medicaid is completely funded to the tune of $142 million more than last year for a total this year of more than $570 million.

Prezioso said college scholarship programs are fully funded, with $37.5 million for PRMISE, $470,000 for engineering, science and technology scholarships and $141,000 for the Underwood-Smith program, which is utilized in Tomblin's new education reform legislation.

Prezioso pointed out the budget has no layoffs or furloughs. He also noted that 23 percent of the general revenue budget went to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, 10 percent went to higher education and 10 percent went to public education, which is "a dramatic difference from when I first came to this Legislature 25 years ago."

"We can take pride in knowing that our hard work and conservative approach in budgeting from previous years have helped to maintain a healthy status," he said. "Also know that we are faced with some difficult decisions moving forward."