CHARLESTON, W.Va. – House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, today announced the House of Delegates has restored a $2 million budget appropriation to West Virginia volunteer fire departments for the coming fiscal year.
The funds are used to help state volunteer departments pay workers' compensation premiums, which represent a significant cost for their organizations.
“Throughout the budgetary process, the House Republican caucus and I made funding to assist our state's volunteer fire departments in paying their workers' compensation premiums a priority,” Speaker Armstead said. “Our volunteer firefighters put their lives on the line to protect us and we absolutely must provide them the support they need.”
Both of the budgets previously passed by the House of Delegates included $2 million to assist in this effort, but the budget recently submitted by the Governor did not include this funding. The $2 million has been restored in the current House budget and the Republican caucus believes it is a crucial part of any budgetary solution.
“I have made it clear that this funding must be included in the budget for me to support it,” Speaker Armstead said. “I have been ensured by the Governor's office that the Governor will not object to or line item veto this funding if it is included in the budget adopted and sent to him for signature.”
The House Finance Committee approved the amended version of the budget (Senate Bill 1013) Sunday. The House will vote on whether to adopt this amended budget as early as this afternoon.