A key change in the budget bill approved by conferees Wednesday will direct an additional $14 million of 2011-12 budget surplus to Medicaid, in addition to $28 million set aside in the bill submitted by Tomblin.
"We didn't get as much money into Medicaid as we would have liked, but we did get a sufficient amount for next year," said Senate Finance Chairman Roman Prezioso, D-Marion.
Projections are the state will have to come up with as much as an additional $200 million in the 2013-14 budget to keep up with costs for the state-managed health care plan for the poor, elderly and disabled.
The bill also directs an additional $2.5 million of surplus revenue to state substance abuse treatment programs, for a total appropriation of $7.5 million. The increase was part of an agreement Saturday evening to get Tomblin's bill addressing the state's substance abuse issues passed.
The budget also includes $176,000 for the new Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs in the governor's office.
That funding will cover salaries for an executive director and administrative assistant for the office, which is to advocate for issues of concern for minority groups in the state.
The three-day budget conference was brief compared to recent years, when the deliberations have stretched out for five to six days.
"This is probably one of the smoothest budget conferences we've ever had," Prezioso said.
House Finance Chairman Harry Keith White, D-Mingo, added, "Believe it or not, when we hit 'total' at the end, it balanced out."
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.