CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Unlike many states, West Virginia did not furlough state employees, raid pension funds, borrow money to pay day-to-day expenses, or spend down Rainy Day funds set aside for emergencies, state Budget Director Mike McKown told legislators Wednesday.
In fact, the state finished the 2011-12 budget year June 30 with an unappropriated budget surplus of nearly $88 million.
And that's after the Legislature appropriated $67.5 million of surplus into the 2012-13 state budget, and after $28.17 million of surplus was transferred to the state Rainy Day Fund.
"We, as a state, are performing better than most," McKown told a joint Finance interim committee. "We've tried to budget conservatively, and we've tried to look down the road."
While legislators will return to Charleston in February with a budget surplus, as well as a total of $477 million of re-appropriated funds -- funds in various accounts that weren't spent during the 2012, budget year -- the work to put together a 2013-14 budget will be more difficult than recent budget bills, McKown said.
"We really have some challenges ahead of us in the coming year, particularly because of Medicaid," McKown said.
"Medicaid is going to require $100 million of new appropriations, just to keep at the current level," he said.
That's in part because the federal match for the state-administered health-care program for the poor, elderly and disabled has dropped, and because the state emptied its Medicaid Trust Fund, and has spent all federal stimulus funds available to keep the program funded through June 30, 2013.
That's why many state agencies were asked to build 7.5 percent spending cuts into their 2013-14 budget requests they submitted to the Budget Office earlier this month, he said.
Other highlights from the 2012-13 budget: