Governor McAuliffe told the General Assembly’s money committees Wednesday that while they made great strides in closing the state's budget shortfall, much more needs to be done to secure Virginia's future.
He says that's why he will continue to implement nearly $954 million in spending cuts over the biennium and work to advance his vision for the upcoming session.
The Governor’s budget proposals include growth initiatives and protecting transportation funding. He also aims to boost tourism, end veterans homelessness by next year, and achieve other objectives.
Governor McAuliffe and General Assembly leaders have struck a deal to cut the state budget to cover an unexpected $2.4-billion revenue shortfall.
The agreement taps the state’s Rainy Day Fund, while closing a $346-million gap this fiscal year, and $536-million the next. The Governor stressed the bipartisan nature of the accord—flanked by GOP state lawmakers and the Democratic co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee.
Watchdog groups say Virginia lawmakers are blurring the line between their campaigns and official duties as representatives.
To see what lawmakers send voters with your tax dollars you have to go to the basement of a House office building. Photos are banned. Only black and white copies leave the sparse room. The privilege of elected office is dubbed franked mail – even though lawmakers now use it to buy Facebook, Twitter and Google ads. Lawmakers are alerted each time a reporter, researcher or political opponent asks to see what they’ve sent voters.
"Not surprised—but still disappointing." That statement from one of Virginia’s budget-writing committee leaders is the consensus of the others who heard a dismal financial report from Governor McAuliffe. They nevertheless applaud the Governor for his leadership… and have already begun figuring out ways to address the projected shortfall.
Factoring in an $882-million shortfall for fiscal years 20-15 and 16 and prior revenue gaps, the governor says state leaders have a lot of digging out to do.