By Rob Casto, WVEC Lobby Team
Going into this year’s session there were a lot of concerns regarding budget cuts to various agencies and programs for Fiscal Year 2022. While we all seem to focus our attention on legislative issues, the budget process plays a significant role in our ability to achieve our priorities.
After reviewing Enrolled Committee Substitute for HB2022 we found that most agencies, funds, and boards important to our members were maintained from Fiscal Year 2021 levels. Working with our representatives we were able to keep these programs from sustaining cuts and kept at prior-year funding levels.
Below are some of the vital programs that did not see any reduction in appropriations.
Mountaintop Removal Fund $1,959,808
Air Pollution Control Fund $7,715,495
Solid Waste Reclamation Fund $4,511,448
Oil and Gas Reclamation Fund $2,500,000
Mining and Reclamation Operation Fund $5,970,191
Environmental Quality Board $133,483
West Virginia Drinking Water Program $647,500
West Virginia Conservation Agency $1,023,235
West Virginia Air Quality Board $76,053
Underground Storage Tank Admin Fund $814,817
Division of Forestry *$5,449,688 (FY21 $3,422,568)
*Increase from FY21 was due to the inability to collect severance tax and sell timber due to COVID restrictions.