The Times West Virginian

West Virginia

February 20, 2013

Tomblin seeks funding for child care, Medicaid, attorneys

CHARLESTON — Medicaid, child care aid and West Virginia’s public defender program are among the intended beneficiaries of $180 million worth of spending proposals that emerged Tuesday from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s agenda for the legislative session.

The governor also seeks to fund behavioral health and a new project targeting the state’s inmate crowding crisis with the four supplemental measures introduced on his behalf.

The bills are separate from the proposed 2013-2014 state budget that Tomblin sent to the Legislature when its session began Feb. 13. They instead would add funding to or redirect money already in the current state spending plan, which lasts until June 30. But while $95 million of the total is earmarked for Medicaid, administration officials want the program to bank that money until the coming budget year. Another $50 million meant to be carried over for Medicaid is already in the current budget as a special reserve.

“This is a way to get a large amount of money to Medicaid from these various funding sources that we have,” state Budget Director Mike McKown said Tuesday. “This is what is required to keep (Medicaid) at current levels.”

McKown estimated that Tomblin’s proposed budget already includes $900 million for the state’s share for Medicaid, which also receives matching federal funds. The state’s portion of Medicaid was just $764 million two years ago. The program’s rising costs have increasingly squeezed the general revenue budget at a time when the taxes that support that portion of state spending expect little or no growth.

General tax and lottery revenues left unspent during prior budget years would provide most of the measures’ new funding. One of the bills also relies on $75.4 million swept from nine different special program accounts. That measure includes $1.5 million from the recent public financing pilot program for Supreme Court candidates, $2.5 million from a state employee sick leave account and $3.8 million from a Capitol Complex parking garage fund. McKown said administration officials have concluded that the accounts can spare the money.

Around $17.4 million of the proposed spending would shore up a program that helps low-income parents afford child day care. The money would replace a depleted surplus of federal funds. It would also allow the state to avoid making it more difficult for parents to qualify for the program, which is based on income levels.

Another $3.6 million would help the state comply with a court order governing how it funds behavioral health services. That funding would pay 36 new staffers and open new group homes, among other purposes, McKown said.

Lawyers appoint to represent poor people charges with crimes would receive $11 million. The new Justice Reinvestment Initiative, a project aimed at reducing inmate crowding while improving public safety, would receive $3 million for substance abuse programs and $500,000 to train probation and parole officers and others involved in community-level supervision.

Text Only
West Virginia
  • Woman convicted in teen’s slaying moved

    A Monongalia County teenager has been transferred to a state prison to complete her sentence for the slaying of another teenager.
    The Lakin Correctional Center near Point Pleasant said Friday Rachel Shoaf has been booked at the Division of Corrections prison. Shoaf turned 18 last month and had been held in a juvenile facility.

    July 26, 2014

  • Board suspends clinic operator’s license

    A West Virginia board Friday suspended the license of the operator of a pain management clinic where investigators found syringes were being reused. It was the second disciplinary action involving the doctor’s license within a decade.

    July 26, 2014

  • Candidates: Leave global warming debate to scientists

    Two West Virginia congressional hopefuls said during their first candidate forum matchup Thursday that the global warming debate is better left to scientists.
    Democrat Nick Casey and Republican Alex Mooney added that other countries should step up in reducing carbon emissions.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lawsuit filed over Dirty Girl Mud Run

    A lawsuit has been filed against the producers of a run that was canceled in Charleston in which participants were told they wouldn’t be issued refunds.

    July 24, 2014

  • WVa. man sues GM over wife's death

    A West Virginia man has filed a lawsuit against General Motors Corp., claiming a defective ignition switch in a Chevrolet Cobalt caused a 2006 accident that killed his pregnant wife.

    July 24, 2014

  • Feds commit to health studies on spilled chemical

    After largely dismissing the possibility of long-term health problems, federal officials will conduct more studies on chemicals that spilled into West Virginia’s largest drinking water supply in January.
    In the next two months, federal health officials are also heading back to West Virginia.

    July 24, 2014

  • Park Service assesses impact of W.Va. attractions

    Four National Park Service attractions in West Virginia drew a total of 1.5 million visitors last year.

    July 23, 2014

  • This weekend's 'Dirty Girl' race canceled

    Organizers of a Charleston running event that was canceled for this weekend says it won’t issue refunds.

    July 23, 2014

  • Reporter heard truck backfiring, not gunshot

    Similar sounds in different circumstances create different reactions. That is so for WVVA reporter Annie Moore, who last Monday told police someone fired a gun at her while she was shooting file footage in the area of a recent murder.

    July 19, 2014

  • Cornhole champions being decided in Charleston

    Cornhole, the strange-sounding game made popular in backyards and at football tailgate parties, is taking on a serious side this week.
    The American Cornhole Organization will crown its world champions as about 380 competitors from 17 states vie for $10,000 in prize money in singles and doubles events.

    July 19, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads