Local Government

Local Governments: Budget Basics

May 16, 2016

Across Virginia, local governments are balancing their books any way they can. Some are raising taxes on hotel guests. Others are increasing the cost of street parking. 

Let’s start with the good news. The state of Virginia’s economy is strong. Here’s how Steven Fuller at George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis describes it:

“Virginia has, over the last two years, gone from zero growth — no job growth at all to early 2014 — to the strongest job growth in any twelve month period in more than ten years."

After globe-spanning backlash for releasing a letter invoking the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II in order to keep Syrian refugees out of the region, Roanoke Mayor David Bowers has apologized.

Mayor David Bowers says he stands by his statement calling to suspend the relocation of Syrian Refugees to the Roanoke Valley.  His referencing of the internment of Japanese Americans following the bombing of Pearl Harbor as justification, however, he apologized for:

Despite major efforts by Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe and outside groups, such as former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety, no party-shifting happened in yesterday’s election. Republicans still maintain control of the House and narrow control of the Senate. This means the ongoing Medicaid expansion fight will likely die in the upcoming General Assembly session.

A Northern Virginia lingerie shop has upset some residents who don't believe its window displays make a proper impression....and bicycle riders will no longer get a free pass when they run stop signs in one Virginia city. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week on the Virginia Public Access Project's VaNews link at vpap.org.

A group of local candidates and the Commonwealth are battling it out in federal court over whether a Virginia election law violates the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights.  At issue is a statute that requires the political party affiliations of federal and state candidates to be listed next to their names on election ballots—while omitting the same for candidates who run for local offices. The candidates are asking the court to temporarily block November’s ballots from being printed until the law’s constitutionality is decided.