UPDATE at 6pm Tuesday
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Gov. Joe Manchin is banking on West Virginia's share of federal stimulus funds to offset most of the 3.4 percent budget cut he's ordered for all executive branch departments.
The governor ordered the cuts Monday to avoid a potential shortfall in general tax revenue estimated at $120 million. The Legislature and Supreme Court have also agreed to reduce spending.
Those other two branches of government consume less than 4 percent of this year's general revenue budget. Manchin has given the executive branch agencies until Jan. 20 to determine where and how they will cut.
The administration predicts that essential services will remain intact.
Stimulus dollars also helped West Virginia avoid painful cuts when lawmakers passed the current budget in May.
Gov. Joe Manchin ordered all executive branch agencies, including those headed by other elected officials, to trim spending by 3.4 percent. They have until Jan. 20 to explain how they will meet that mandate.
The governor said that the Legislature and Supreme Court have also agreed to as-yet-unspecified cuts.
As with other states, the recession has weakened West Virginia's general tax revenues. The budget year ends June 30, and Manchin budget officials believe those revenues will miss their $3.7 billion estimate by $120 million.
The governor had previously hoped improved savings would keep things balanced.