(By Mr. Speaker, Mr. Kiss, and Delegate Staton)

(Originating in the Committee on Rules)

[March 5, 2003]

Calling upon the United States government to provide funding assistance for the unfunded mandates it places upon the states, for homeland security and for other direct flexible fiscal relief to the states.

whereas, The states currently face the worst fiscal crisis since World War II, with a budget shortfall projected between $40 to $50 billion for the 2003 fiscal year and $65 to $85 billion for the 2004 fiscal year; and
whereas, Forty-nine of the Fifty states, including West Virginia, must submit balanced budgets by law and thus can only increase revenue through budget cuts or by tax increases; and
whereas, Tax revenues from capital gains and from corporations have greatly deteriorated; and
whereas, Healthcare costs are exploding nationally, especially Medicaid, which grew by 14% last year alone, and is now a larger program than Medicare; and
whereas, States are faced with the burden of paying for new and improved homeland security efforts; and
whereas, The Federal government has added to the financial burden of the states through new programs that create unfunded mandates such as the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB); and
whereas, States recognize the importance of programs and are working to implement them; and
whereas, West Virginia is facing the same budget difficulties faced by other states; and
whereas, State Legislators and governors are making difficult and prudent fiscal decisions; and
whereas, The national economy is struggling and direct fiscal relief to the states is one of the best ways to stimulate the economy; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Legislature of West Virginia recognizes the growing problems of the states and the efforts underway in our state and elsewhere to deal with these problems. The Legislature of West Virginia calls upon the federal government to provide funding to assist with unfunded mandates, provide more resources for homeland security and to provide direct flexible fiscal relief to the states; and, be it
Further Resolved, That a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the President of the United States, to the Senators and Representatives from West Virginia and to the clerks of each house of the United States Congress.