CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The House of Delegates Saturday evening voted 96-3 to concur in Senate amendments to the Fiscal Year 2021 budget bill, Senate Bill 150, sending the spending plan to Gov. Jim Justice and ensuring the Legislature will not have to meet in an extended session like years past.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The House of Delegates Saturday evening voted 96-3 to concur in Senate amendments to the Fiscal Year 2021 budget bill, Senate Bill 150, sending the spending plan to Gov. Jim Justice and ensuring the Legislature will not have to meet in an extended session like years past.

The final $4.574 billion General Revenue Fund spending plan, which goes into effect July 1, maintains several key House priorities – including an additional $16.9 million to fund improvements to foster care programs, and $19.8 million to eliminate the waitlist for the I/DD waiver program.

“This fiscally responsible spending plan controls government spending, funds our key priorities and avoids raiding our Medicaid program, preserving those funds to secure health care for our neediest citizens,” said House Finance Committee chairman Eric Householder, R-Berkeley. “Additionally, by passing this budget during the 60-day regular session, our taxpayers avoid the $35,000-per-day cost of an extended session.”

The $4.574 billion General Revenue Fund budget spends roughly $120 million less than the current fiscal year’s $4.694 billion spending plan.

“This budget represents our conservative priorities of running government more efficiently, investing in our most critical programs, while also avoiding any new taxes on our citizens,” Chairman Householder said. “This budget embodies the principles of freedom and fiscal responsibility that our citizens expect from their elected leaders.”

Additional features in the budget plan include:

$500,000 in new spending for equipment for West Virginia State Police Troopers. $3.3 million to open a second Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy at the former WVU Institute of Technology site in Montgomery. $125,000 in new spending for sexual assault intervention and prevention programs. $1 million for the Governor’s Community Food Program. $2 million in contingency funds to battle a potential coronavirus outbreak.