Ashton Marra Published

Without Budget, PEIA Board Again to Consider Cuts

Governor Tomblin

The state board that oversees the insurance program covering more than 250,000 West Virginians will meet once again next week to discuss possible cuts because lawmakers have not yet approved a budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

State administrative officials informed legislative leaders Wednesday that the Public Employees Insurance Agency, or PEIA, Finance Board would meet next week to discuss reductions to the program, which could result in increased costs for those insured through the system.

House Speaker Tim Armstead and Senate President Bill Cole reiterated a commitment from lawmakers to fully fund the program and called the meeting a “unnecessary step.”

In December of last year, the PEIA Finance Board considered some $120 million in proposed cuts. Those proposed cuts will once again be on the table during next week’s meeting.

In a written statement, Speaker Armstead said Governor Tomblin’s Office has assured lawmakers that as long as a budget is approve by June 30, PEIA will not have to face programming cuts.

Cole also said lawmakers stand ready to call themselves back into session to approve a budget should the program face cuts. It would take a letter signed by three-fifths of the members of both the Senate and House for lawmakers to themselves call in for a special session.