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Being More Realistic About State Budget

Another monthly revenue report for West Virginia’s general fund budget has been prepared — and the situation is growing worse.

At the end of October, revenue collections were $33 million behind what had been expected for that point in fiscal 2020. Now, with November numbers available, the shortfall has grown to $40 million.

If collections continue to lag at this rate, the $100 million state spending cut that has been suggested will not be enough to keep the budget in balance.

Obviously, action will be needed to keep this year’s budget in balance. But as state officials discuss fiscal 2021 spending plans, they should begin with a budget blueprint for spending less than was envisioned initially for this year. Realism may not be pleasant, but it is necessary.

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