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Attorney General Morrisey Reforms Process for Appropriating Settlement Monies
The bill's passage was the result of many weeks' worth of cooperation between the Attorney General's Office, the Governor, and members of the Legislature.
"The passage of Senate Bill 1005 marks an important step for our state and the Attorney General's Office," Morrisey said. "I campaigned on a platform of returning lawsuit settlement monies back to the Legislature and the taxpayers, and the promises made many months ago have been kept. This bill and its approval by members of the Legislature shows this is a new day in the Attorney General's Office."
Specifically, SB 1005 expires $7.459 million of unencumbered funds in the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Recovery Fund to the State's General Revenue Fund. It then directs $3.5 million of that money to DHHR's Consolidated Medical Service Fund for behavioral health programs, $1.6 million to the Higher Education Policy Commission, and $500,000 to the Department of Commerce. The remaining $1.859 million will be reappropriated to the Attorney General's Office for much-needed personnel, technology improvements and operating expenses.
With the agreement, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, the Governor and the Legislature established a new policy for dealing with settlement monies. The Attorney General's office will have three years of operating monies to fund the Consumer Protection Division and pursue cases. Any monies that are brought into the office above the three year operating allowance (and not otherwise dedicated specifically for restitution for consumers) that previously would have been spent at the discretion of the Attorney General will now be made available for the General Fund.
"When I ran for this office, I said I did not want to act as a 'Super Legislature' by allocating state settlement money as I saw fit," Morrisey added. "I said I wanted to seek Legislative appropriations for our accounts and return monies to consumers and taxpayers instead of using the office to dole monies out for pet projects. Through this agreement, I am living up to that promise and changing the way Charleston operates."
"Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is proving to the citizens of West Virginia that his campaign promises are becoming West Virginia Attorney General office policy. I speak for the West Virginia Republican Party when I say, we are proud that General Morrisey is executing an agenda of promoting less government regulation to create a business-friendly environment, getting rid of wasteful spending and returning lawsuit settlement monies back to the Legislature and the hardworking taxpayers of our great state."
Statement of West Virginia Republican Party Chairman Conrad Lucas, on the AG Morrisey Keeping Another Campaign Promise.