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State Budget Office asks agencies to prepare for possible cuts next year

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It seems the state's budget cutting will continue next year.

West Virginia Department of Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss sent the Fiscal Year 2015 Appropriation Request Instructions this week to all state departments.

The annual packet provides instructions for state agencies to prepare their budgets and appropriations requests for the creation of the Governor's Executive Budget.

The governor's budget is submitted to the Legislature at the start of the legislative session each year, and then members take it under consideration as they pass a budget.

According to a letter from Kiss at the beginning of the packet, "targeted reductions are again required at this time."

The next Fiscal Year also will mark the launch of the state's new, integrated, digital accounting system, wvOASIS.

"Simply stated, anticipated revenues are not expected to keep pace with the costs of current programs, due to the recent sluggish national economy and a slowdown in the mining of coal," Kiss' letter states. "Moreover, as we have long anticipated, the trend of declining lottery revenues will continue in FY 2015 due to competition in bordering states."

Agencies were asked to trim their budgets for the current FY 2014 budget by 7.5 percent.

The instructions ask each department that receives funds from the general revenue and the regular lottery revenue to prepare second, separate appropriation requests showing what a 7.5 percent reduction would look like for Fiscal Year 2015.

Thoe agencies that receive those funds but are exempt from cuts include: debt service, public defenders, public education, Division of Miners' Health, Safety and Training, the Department of Veterans' Assistance Veterans' Nursing Home fund and the Division of Corrections.

Agencies' budget requests are due by Sept. 3, and then agencies will be contacted to schedule budget hearings to explain their requests.