The cuts are to make up for the depletion of a $58 million carryover in federal funding known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Law wrote in a prepared statement. West Virginia receives about $110 million yearly in TANF funds. For a number of years, the state did not spend the entire amount each year, and built up a surplus of $58 million by 2008.
Since then the surplus has been used to pay for child-care and social services, Law said, but the surplus is now gone.
In 2011, more than 24,000 children received childcare services at a cost of around $5 million in state funds and $50 million in federal funding, according to the release. The number of children served grew from around 23,000 and a total state and federal cost of $45 million in 2009.
State childcare advocates have argued child care subsidies allow parents to work and that it would be cheaper for the state to fund child care than pay for supporting the family through welfare.
"If you don't have the money, it's not any cheaper," Law said. "The important thing here is there is no decrease in provider rates. The child-care providers will be paid what they have been paid. We are not cutting their reimbursement."
The state Bureau for Children and Families, part of DHHR, is also cutting more than $9.5 million in grants, including a $2.5 million grant to the Department of Education for expanding a summer nutrition program.
Also included in the cuts were 14 grants totaling $5.5 million to regional workforce investment boards to fund subsidized employment for youth and adults. The grants were part of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus funding, which expired Sept. 30, 2010.
The Bureau for Children and Families is also no longer funding a $762,000 grant to the West Virginia University Research Corporation and a $149,469 grant to the West Virginia State Research and Development Corporation as well as an $862,168 grant to the WVU Research and Development Corporation for vocational assessment."We're cutting different grants some because of Recovery Act money and some because we thought we could do it as well internally," Law said.
Reach Lori Kersey at lori.ker...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.