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Begin the Process

Begin the Process

During the first four months of the fiscal year, West Virginia state government took in $33 million less than had been expected. At that rate, fiscal 2020 will end with the general revenue budget $100 million short of meeting commitments.

A few weeks ago, state agency heads were told to begin thinking about spending cuts to make up for that amount. But no reductions have been put in place, Revenue Secretary Dave Hardy told legislators this week. Doing such things takes time, he explained.

“Turning the state’s budget is like turning an aircraft carrier or a large ship,” Hardy added. “You have to go slow.”

Well, yes. But the rudder has to be turned at some point to begin the process — or the ship will hit something. Gov. Jim Justice should instruct department heads to begin making the turn toward $100 million in spending reductions.