West Virginia Hiring Freeze Extended 'Indefinitely'

by | July 7, 2014 AT 10:00 AM

By Dave Boucher

Despite ending the 2014 budget year with as much as a $40 million surplus, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin extended a statewide hiring freeze indefinitely, said state Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss.

The decision to extend the freeze, in effect since late 2013, is an attempt to make sure the state doesn't get off to the rocky financial start it did last budget year, Kiss said. The state will monitor tax collections during the course of July and August in order to see if the freeze needs to remain in effect, he said.

The freeze affects all "non-essential" state employees. It saved the state approximately $33 million during the budget year that ended Monday, an amount crucial in helping the state end the year with a balanced budget.

Better collections numbers in June, combined with excess budgeted money agencies may not have spent and extra lottery funds, could give the state an additional $40 million heading into another potentially problematic financial year, Kiss said.

(c)2014 the Charleston Daily Mail (Charleston, W.Va.)