The state's economists and fiscal experts are urging lawmakers to pass a budget as soon as possible to help mitigate lower revenues by tapping into the state's rainy day fund.
They informed the House Appropriations Committee that if lawmakers don't act soon, the state has much to lose.
Like April, May's revenue forecast is still lower than projected. At this rate, the House Appropriation Committee’s Robert Vaughn says the projected deficit carried into fiscal year 20-15 is hundreds of millions of dollars.
And into fiscal year 20-16, the shortfall could be in excess of 500 million. State Finance Secretary Ric Brown says the bond-rating agencies are closely watching Virginia, and if lawmakers can't resolve the budget by July 1st, the state risks losing its sterling bond rating. He says the state faced a similar situation in 2009—but worse.
Brown re-emphasizes that the General Assembly cannot tap into the rainy day fund unless it has enacted a budget—and even then it could only appropriate 50-percent of it to mitigate the impact of the budget shortfall.