Some Social Service Funds Are Restored

CHARLESTON (AP) – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin plans to restore funding to some West Virginia social services programs that he previously cut.

Tomblin wrote to state Senate President Jeff Kessler and House Speaker Tim Miley on Wednesday that the restored funding includes $150,000 for an in-home family education program, $80,000 for child abuse prevention and $30,000 for a domestic violence legal services fund.

Tomblin had cut several other social services programs in a line-item veto in March. Tomblin says he had received many requests to reconsider the reductions.

The budget shifts won’t require any action from state lawmakers, Tomblin wrote.

Tomblin said Revenue Secretary Robert Kiss and Department of Health and Human Resources Secretary Karen Bowling recommended the three funding restorations. The governor says restored funds will be used to ensure the programs maintain current funding levels in the next fiscal year.

Restoring funding for in-home family education, a program that provides information for parents on pregnancy, child development and other topics, would preserve federal matching money for the program. Tomblin said the cuts originally were necessary heading into a few projected dismal budget years.

“These reductions unfortunately curbed grants and services but were necessary to responsibly manage future year budgets,” Tomblin wrote.

Several groups have called on Tomblin to restore more than $1 million in social program reductions, including the money addressed Wednesday.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin and several state lawmakers will convene at the Capitol today to urge Tomblin to reconsider more of the vetoes.