A committee of the West Virginia House of Delegates quickly pushed through its version of Gov. Jim Justice’s general revenue budget for the next fiscal year.
The House Finance Committee amended House Bill 4023, the budget bill, and recommended it for passage Thursday afternoon, sending it to the full House for consideration.
HB 4023 was presented to the House the first day of session on behalf of the governor, covering the budget for fiscal year 2023 beginning on July 1. Justice presented a $4.645 billion budget, a 1.4 percent increase from a revised revenue estimate of $4.579 billion for the current fiscal year ending in June and a 3.3 percent increase from the $4.495 billion fiscal year 2022 budget approved by the Legislature last year.
The version of the budget approved Thursday by the House Finance Committee also is $4.645 billion, but it includes changes made by the committee as well as anticipates the passage of some House bills with fiscal costs.
The bill includes $31.6 million in cuts to line items in Justice’s recommended budget. These include a $14 million cut to West Virginia University, an $8 million cut to Marshall University, and a $7 million cut to the Department of Tourism’s brand promotion fund.
These cuts would be offset with alternative sources of funding, such as excess surplus tax dollars at the end of the current fiscal year ending June 30, plus an additional $100,000 to WVU and Marshall.