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Legislature Adjourns Special Session Disabilities funding restored

The House completed action for the extraordinary session this afternoon. 

The House changed the effective date on Senate Bill 1011. It is now effective May 22, 2024. 

The House also reconsidered action on Senate Bill 1001. The body concurred with the Senate’s amendments to complete legislative action. The Senate’s amendments allow the secretaries of the Department of Health and the Department of Human Services to transfer money out of a new reserve fund to provide money for other line items, such as Medicaid and the intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) waiver program. However, there is no requirement that the money be spent on these programs. The House had amended the bill to put requirements and line items into the bill. But the Senate made it clear it would not be accepting this amendment by adjourning sine die. The House decided that passing this form of the bill at least provides the money to the departments and the departments can report on the spending on the months to come. 

DoHS Secretary Issues Statement on Budget Restoration
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Human Services (DoHS) Cabinet Secretary, Cynthia Persily, Ph.D., today released the following statement regarding the conclusion of the special session:

“Today’s restoration of more than $183 million in funds will allow DoHS to continue to provide essential services through its Bureau for Child Support Enforcement, Bureau for Behavioral Health, Bureau for Family Assistance, Bureau for Medical Services, Bureau for Social Services, and the Office of Drug Control Policy. Of the funds, more than $89 million will remedy the anticipated Medicaid shortfall for Fiscal Year 2025.

We heard legislators’ concerns about the need for transparency in the spending of funds they have appropriated and the need for essential services to be funded. The Department is committed to providing this transparency and continuing to analyze reimbursement rates for all providers of services.

As appropriate and feasible, DoHS will continue to make adjustments to rates as necessary for providers as early as July. The Department appreciates the work of the Legislature and thanks each member for their time and attention to the crucial needs of West Virginia’s most vulnerable residents.”

 

CHARLESTON, WV — Gov. Jim Justice issued the following statement today after the conclusion of a special session in which the West Virginia Legislature passed all 15 bills listed on his call.

“I have been extremely disappointed in the behavior of a few of our legislators over the last few days. For months now, I have demanded that we need to restore the budgets of our Department of Health and our Department of Human Services, so that hundreds and hundreds of our doctors, hospitals, and other medical providers won’t face rate cuts and to ensure that tens of thousands of our people won’t see reductions in needed services.

At the end of the day, we won for the people of West Virginia. 

When the federal government put our higher education system into crisis with their mishandling of the FAFSA, I demanded that we pass funding so our kids don’t miss their opportunity to go to college. At the end of the day, again, we won for all our kids in this Great State.

From Roads to Prosperity, to all the tax cuts we’ve been able to get done–including the largest reduction in the personal income tax in history–to ensuring our counties have the funding they need for local services, to all the businesses we’ve been able to locate here, we as West Virginians have won again and again.

I’ve only got a short time left as your Governor, and we’ve got to make sure we stop the rhetoric that can absolutely destroy the good that we’ve already achieved.

If the rhetoric from a few members wasn’t bad enough, the special interests and the lobbyists came in and tried to hijack things that could have truly hurt our people. I will always stand rock solid with all the people that need the Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Waiver–I was the Governor that cleared the waitlist. And I’ll go on record now and say that we need even more funding for our most vulnerable. 

My proposed budget–what we were fighting for and what we’ve won–stood up for kids, veterans, and the elderly. We’ve minded the store since day one, we’ve brought economic development projects all over the State, and that’s what I recommend our future governors should do, as well.”