Special Budget Session in West Virginia
On May 16, 2016, the West Virginia Legislature convened a special session to complete work on a statewide budget for 2016-17 and to consider other measures related to state revenues and fiscal management.
In mid-March, Governor Tomblin announced updated revenue estimates for 2016-17. The $240 million estimate reduction was the result of a further downturn of $92.4 million as well as $148 million in previously proposed tax increases that were not approved by the Legislature. In response, legislators halted all budget work to focus on other matters during the remaining portion of the regular session.
In addition to approving an appropriations bill for 2016-17, the governor’s session proclamation calls on the Legislature to consider: increasing the state tobacco, consumer sales and service, and use tax rates; transferring certain funds to the general fund for the 2015-16 fiscal year; and authorizing the governor to furlough state employees in the event of a fiscal emergency.
Information on final budget actions in West Virginia and other states will appear in forthcoming editions of Legislative Report.