Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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June 28, 2013

WVa to raid Medicaid to balance books

CHARLESTON — West Virginia is raiding its Medicaid program to keep its current budget balanced.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin planned to issue an executive order Friday tapping reserve funding for the health care program.

Acting Revenue Secretary Jason Pizatella tells The Associated Press the amount could range between $18 million and $20 million.

The state’s budget year ends on Sunday. But officials don’t believe enough general tax revenues will come in by then to cover budgeted spending.

General revenues are falling short even after the Legislature cut $28 million from the current budget at Tomblin’s request. The state also took $45 million from a special reserve for paying income tax refunds.

Declining coal production has been a key culprit behind general revenues missing their estimates this budget year.

 

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