HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 28
(By Delegates Howell, Storch, Canterbury, Evans,A.,
Azinger, Border, Smith, R., Folk, Overington, Hamrick and Kump)
[Introduced February 15, 2013; referred to the Committee on
Constitutional Revision then Finance.]
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of West
Virginia, amending section fifty-one, article VI thereof,
relating to the establishment of a general fund expenditure
limit; numbering and designating such proposed amendment; and
providing a summarized statement of the purpose of such
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia, two thirds of
the members elected to each house agreeing thereto:
That the question of ratification or rejection of an amendment
to the Constitution of the State of West Virginia be submitted to
the voters of the State at the next general election to be held in
the year 2014, which proposed amendment is that section fifty-one,
article VI thereof be amended, to read as follows:
ARTICLE VI. Budget and supplementary appropriation bills.
§51.The Legislature shall not appropriate any money out of the
treasury except in accordance with the provisions of this section.
Subsection A -- Appropriation Bills
(1) Every appropriation bill shall be either a budget bill, or
a supplementary appropriation bill, as hereinafter provided.
Subsection B -- Budget Bills
(2) Within ten days after the convening of the regular session
of the Legislature in odd-numbered years, unless such time shall be
extended by the Legislature, and on the second Wednesday of January
in even-numbered years, the Governor shall submit to the
Legislature a budget for the next ensuing fiscal year. The budget
shall contain a complete plan of proposed expenditures and
estimated revenues for the fiscal year and shall show the estimated
surplus or deficit of revenues at the end of each fiscal year.
Accompanying each budget shall be a statement showing: (a) An
estimate of the revenues and expenditures for the current fiscal
year, including the actual revenues and actual expenditures to the
extent available, and the revenues and expenditures for the next
preceding fiscal year; (b) the current assets, liabilities,
reserves and surplus or deficit of the state; (c) the debts and
funds of the state; (d) an estimate of the state's financial
condition as of the beginning and end of the fiscal year covered by
the budget; (e) any explanation the Governor may desire to make as
to the important features of the budget and any suggestions as to
methods for reduction or increase of the state's revenue.
(3) Each budget shall embrace an itemized estimate of the appropriations, in such form and detail as the Governor shall
determine or as may be prescribed by law: (a) For the Legislature
as certified to the Governor in the manner hereinafter provided;
(b) for the executive department; (c) for the judiciary department,
as provided by law, certified to the Governor by the auditor; (d)
for payment and discharge of the principal and interest of any debt
of the state created in conformity with the constitution, and all
laws enacted in pursuance thereof; (e) for the salaries payable by
the state under the constitution and laws of the state; (f) for
such other purposes as are set forth in the constitution and in
laws made in pursuance thereof.
(4) The Governor shall deliver to the presiding officer of
each house the budget and a bill for all the proposed
appropriations of the budget clearly itemized and classified, in
such form and detail as the Governor shall determine or as may be
prescribed by law; and the presiding officer of each house shall
promptly cause the bill to be introduced therein, and such bill
shall be known as the "Budget Bill." The Governor may, with the
consent of the Legislature, before final action thereon by the
Legislature, amend or supplement the budget to correct an
oversight, or to provide funds contingent on passage of pending
legislation, and in case of an emergency, he may deliver such an
amendment or supplement to the presiding officers of both houses;
and the amendment or supplement shall thereby become a part of the budget bill as an addition to the items of the bill or as a
modification of or a substitute for any item of the bill the
amendment or supplement may affect.
(5) The Legislature shall not amend the budget bill so as to
create a deficit but may amend the bill by increasing or decreasing
any item therein: Provided, That no item relating to the judiciary
shall be decreased, and except as otherwise provided in this
constitution, the salary or compensation of any public officer
shall not be increased or decreased during his term of office:
Provided, however, That the Legislature shall not increase the
estimate of revenue submitted in the budget without the approval of
(6) The Governor and such representatives of the executive
departments, boards, officers and commissions of the state
expending or applying for state moneys as have been designated by
the Governor for this purpose, shall have the right, and when
requested by either house of the Legislature it shall be their
duty, to appear and be heard with respect to any budget bill, and
to answer inquiries relative thereto.
Subsection C -- Supplementary Appropriation Bills
(7) Neither house shall consider other appropriations until
the budget bill has been finally acted upon by both houses, and no
such other appropriations shall be valid except in accordance with
the provisions following: (a) Every such appropriation shall be embodied in a separate bill limited to some single work, object or
purpose therein stated and called therein a supplementary
appropriation bill; (b) each supplementary appropriation bill shall
provide the revenue necessary to pay the appropriation thereby made
by a tax, direct or indirect, to be laid and collected as shall be
directed in the bill unless it appears from such budget that there
is sufficient revenue available.
Subsection D -- General Provisions
(8) If the budget bill shall not have been finally acted upon
by the Legislature three days before the expiration of its regular
session, the Governor shall issue a proclamation extending the
session for such further period as may, in his judgment, be
necessary for the passage of the bill; but no matter other than the
bill shall be considered during such an extension of a session
except a provision for the cost thereof.
(9) For the purpose of making up the budget, the Governor
shall have the power, and it shall be his duty, to require from the
proper state officials, including herein all executive departments,
all executive and administrative officers, bureaus, boards,
commissions and agencies expending or supervising the expenditure
of, and all institutions applying for state moneys and
appropriations, such itemized estimates and other information, in
such form and at such times as he shall direct. The estimates for
the legislative department, certified by the presiding officer of each house, and for the judiciary, as provided by law, certified by
the Auditor, shall be transmitted to the Governor in such form and
at such times as he shall direct, and shall be included in the
(10) The Governor may provide for public hearings on all
estimates and may require the attendance at such hearings of
representatives of all agencies and all institutions applying for
state moneys. After such public hearings he may, in his
discretion, revise all estimates except those for the legislative
and judiciary departments.
(11) Every budget bill or supplementary appropriation bill
passed by a majority of the members elected to each house of the
Legislature shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the
Governor. The Governor may veto the bill, or he may disapprove or
reduce items or parts of items contained therein. If he approves
he shall sign it and thereupon it shall become a law. The bill,
items or parts thereof, disapproved or reduced by the Governor,
shall be returned with his objections to each house of the
Each house shall enter the objections at large upon its
journal and proceed to reconsider. If, after reconsideration, two
thirds of the members elected to each house agree to pass the bill,
or such items or parts thereof, as were disapproved or reduced, the
bill, items or parts thereof, approved by two thirds of such members, shall become law, notwithstanding the objections of the
Governor. In all such cases, the vote of each house shall be
determined by yeas and nays to be entered on the journal.
A bill, item or part thereof, which is not returned by the
Governor within five days (Sundays excepted) after the bill has
been presented to him shall become a law in like manner as if he
had signed the bill, unless the Legislature, by adjournment,
prevents such return, in which case it shall be filed in the office
of the Secretary of State, within five days after such adjournment,
and shall become a law; or it shall be so filed within such five
days with the objections of the Governor, in which case it shall
become law to the extent not disapproved by the Governor.
(12) The Legislature may, from time to time, enact such laws,
not inconsistent with this section, as may be necessary and proper
to carry out its provisions.
(13) In the event of any inconsistency between any of the
provisions of this section and any of the other provisions of the
constitution, the provisions of this section shall prevail. But
nothing herein shall be construed as preventing the Governor from
calling extraordinary sessions of the Legislature, as provided by
section nineteen of this article, or as preventing the Legislature
at such extraordinary sessions from considering any emergency
appropriation or appropriations.
(14) If any item of any appropriation bill passed under the provisions of this section shall be held invalid upon any ground,
such invalidity shall not affect the legality of the bill or of any
other item of such bill or bills.
Subsection E -- General Fund expenditure limit
(15) Definitions. The following definitions apply in this
____(a) Fiscal growth factor. The average of the sum of inflation
and population change for each of the preceding three calendar
years. If either inflation or the population change for the
preceding three calendar years is negative, then that change shall
be counted as zero.
____(b) Inflation. The percentage change in the consumer price
index for the United States for each calendar year as published by
the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
____(c) Population change. The percentage change in State
population for each calendar year.
____(16) General Fund expenditure limit. The General Fund
expenditure limit for each fiscal year shall be the previous year's
General Fund expenditure limit increased by a percentage rate that
equals the fiscal growth factor. The Governor shall not propose
expenditures from the General Fund for the ensuing fiscal period in
excess of the projected General Fund expenditure limit. In enacting
the budget for the fiscal year, the Legislature shall not make
appropriations from the General Fund in excess of the General Fund limit.
____(17) Base fiscal year for General Fund expenditure limit. The
total authorized General Fund budget for the fiscal year beginning
July 1, 2015, increased by the fiscal growth factor, shall be used
to determine the General Fund expenditure limit for the fiscal year
beginning July 1, 2016, which will then be used to determine the
General Fund expenditure limit for succeeding fiscal years.
____(18) Decreases in General Fund expenditure limit. If, on or
after December 31, 2015, the cost of any state program or function
is shifted from the General Fund to another source of funding,
including, but not limited to, counties or other units of local
government, or if moneys are transferred from the General Fund to
another fund or account, the General Fund expenditure limit shall
be reduced by a like amount.
____(19) Two-thirds vote of the Legislature is required to exceed
General Fund expenditure limit. The Legislature may, by an
affirmative vote of two thirds of the members of each house, make
General Fund appropriations for nonrecurring expenses in excess of
the General Fund expenditure limit for a period not to exceed
twelve months beginning on the effective date of the
____(20) Any funds that are unexpended as a result of this
provision that exceed five percent of the General Fund
appropriation for the prior fiscal year shall be returned to the taxpayers.
Resolved further, That in accordance with the provisions of
article eleven, chapter three of the Code of West Virginia, 1931,
as amended, the proposed amendment is hereby numbered "Amendment
and designated as the
"Taxpayer Bill of Rights"
purpose of the proposed amendment is summarized as follows: "To
establish a General Fund expenditure limit."