PEIA, Budget, Pay Increase, and Tax Reduction Pass in Saturday House Session

Saturday’s House floor session was lengthy with major bills up for passage. The calendar was reordered to consider Senate Bill 268, House Bill 2024, Senate Bill 423, and the Senate Message for House Bill 2526 first.

Senate Bill 268 updates PEIA. The bill requires all PEIA board members to complete fiduciary training, as members will have a fiduciary responsibility to protect plan assets for participants. It requires the finance board to hold at least two public hearings on proposed financial plans. The finance board may only use revenue estimates from the governor as needed to maintain an actuarially recommended reserve fund and to maintain premium cost-sharing. The director may not incorporate other revenue sources into the plan.

 The bill requires plans to reimburse WV hospitals at a minimum rate of 110 percent of Medicare. Plans for employees and retired employees shall be at a cost-sharing rate of 80 percent for the employer and 20 percent for the employees. PEIA will maintain the 80-20 cost-sharing for instate and out-of-state in contiguous counties and then drops to 70-30 coverage for other out-of-state providers.

All plans shall include coverage for diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment for autism spectrum disorder for ages 18 months to 18 years. Coverage through PEIA includes children’s immunizations from birth to 16 for diphtheria, polio, mumps, measles, rubella, tetanus, hepatitis-b, hemophilia influenza-b, and whooping cough. Coverage includes a 12-month refill for contraceptives and group life and accidental death insurance for $10,000 for each employee.

The bill was amended to include the $35 insulin cost cap as passed yesterday.

The bill makes a change to spousal coverage through PEIA. If an employee’s spouse has health insurance available through their employer, then they are will not be covered under PEIA unless the employee adds the spouse to the plan by paying an additional $147 a month.

The bill requires an Actuarial Study of the financial solvency of PEIA to start by July 1, 2023, and be presented to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance by July 1, 2024.

House Bill 2024 is the Budget Bill. Below is a general breakdown of the budget, which passed the House today. Review the bill in its entirety here. Only one of the amendments offered was adopted. 

  • General Revenue Fund: $4,641,892,371
    • Legislative: $26,096,694
    • Judicial: $149,079,448
    • Executive-Governor’s Office: $11,988,272
    • Executive-Auditor’s Office: $2,487,115
    • Executive-Treasurer’s Office: $3,514,380
    • Executive-Department of Agriculture: $25,377,648
    • Executive-Attorney General: $5,203,194
    • Executive-Secretary of State: $943,230
    • Executive-State Election Commission: $7,508
    • Department of Administration: $86,877,676
    • Department of Commerce: $67,703,442
    • Department of Tourism: $7,000,000
    • Department of Economic Development: $12,147,273
    • Department of Education: $2,057,054,456
    • Department of Arts, Culture, and History: $11,357,680
    • Department of Environmental Protection: $6,781,786
    • Department of Health and Human Resources: $1,149,922,442
    • Department of Homeland Security: $490,453,125
    • Department of Revenue: $32,811,468
    • Department of Transportation: $5,249,128
    • Department of Veterans’ Assistance: $12,453,534
    • Bureau of Senior Services: $10,839,825
    • West Virginia Council for CTCE: $16,114,928
    • Mountwest: $6,716,176
    • New River: $6,088,539
    • Pierpont: $8119,152
    • Blue Ridge: $8,139,835
    • WVU-Parkersburg: $10,799,686
    • Southern WV: $8,557,086
    • WV Northern: $7,580,697
    • Eastern WV: $2,264,340
    • BridgeValley: $8,364,587
    • Higher Education Policy Commission: $80,819,475
    • WVU Med School: $21,488,856
    • WVU: $113,398,048
    • Marshall Med School: $8,691,589
    • Marshall University: $51,547,701
    • WV School of Osteopathic Medicine: $5,972,974
    • Bluefield State: $6,648,770
    • Concord University: 10,836,709
    • Fairmont State: $19,273,190
    • Glenville State University: $6,768,535
    • Shepherd University: $13,026,830
    • West Liberty: $9,552,600
    • WV State: $16,530,290
    • Adjutant General: $18,957,017
  • State Road Fund Total: $1,669,496,660
  • Special Revenue Fund: $3,980,500
  • Lottery Fund: $143,669,012
  • Excess Lottery Fund: $334,670,790
  • Federal Funding: $9,415,135,878
  • Block Grants: $82,535,141

Senate Bill 423 increases annual salaries for teachers and state police officers, administrative support staff, and forensic staff, as well as the monthly salaries of school service personnel.

The following is the breakdown for teachers:

The following is the breakdown for school services personnel:

The following is the breakdown for state police officers:

The following is the breakdown for state police administrative support staff:

The following is the breakdown for state police forensic lab staff:

Additionally, the House concurred with the Senate to complete legislative action on House Bill 2526. After Senate action, House Bill 2526 reduces the personal income tax retroactively to January 1, 2023, as the following:

  • Head of Household or Joint Filing
    • Not over $10,000: 2.36% of the taxable income
    • Over $10,000 but not over $25,000: $236 plus 3.15% of the excess over $10,000
    • Over $25,000 but not over $40,000: $708.50 plus 3.54% of the excess over $25,000
    • Over $40,000 but not over $60,000: $1,239.50 plus 4.72% of the excess over $40,000
    • Over $60,000: $2,183.50 plus 5.12% of the excess over $60,000
  • Married, but Separate Filing
    • Not over $5,000: 2.36% of the taxable income
    • Over $5,000 but not over $12,500: $118 plus 3.15% of the excess over $5,000
    • Over $12,500 but not over $20,000: $354.25 plus 3.54% of the excess over $12,500
    • Over $20,000 but not over $30,000: $619.75 plus 4.72% of the excess over $20,000
    • Over $30,000: $1,091.75 plus 5.12% of the excess over $30,000

The bill has a provision that would trigger future personal income tax reductions if the total general revenue collection of the preceding fiscal year minus severance tax collection is in excess of the inflation-adjusted base year revenues (FY2019).

The Senate also amended the bill the West Virginia Property Tax Adjustment Act, which creates a 100% refundable tax credit for ad valorem personal property taxes paid for a motor vehicle. This credit may be claimed against personal income tax and corporation net tax. Disabled veterans may also receive a refundable tax credit against their personal income taxes for real property taxes on a homestead used for residential purposes.  

The Senate amendment to House Bill 2526 also added a small business credit to allow a 50% refundable tax credit against personal income tax or corporate net income tax for ad valorem property tax due and owing and timely paid. A small business is defined as a business with personal property located in West Virginia with an aggregate appraised value of $1,000,000 or less. An exclusion stated that a small business does not include a person holding an interest in any oil, natural gas, or natural gas liquid.