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.
The legislative panel formed after the tragic suicide of a state senator’s son who was denied hospitalization has endorsed policy recommendations made by its gubernatorial counterpart. However, the Joint Subcommittee to Study Mental Health Services also acknowledged the state’s harsh budget realities—and set its top priorities for the upcoming General Assembly session.
The General Assembly’s watchdog agency did not sugarcoat the problems as it presented a frank examination of Virginia’s cumbersome workforce development system. The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission found that employers have difficulty navigating the programs and filling job openings with workers who have requisite skills. It also found that key workforce programs do not emphasize training in fields with the greatest potential for employment.
The federal judge who presided over the corruption trial of former Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, has rejected a request by the former first couple for a new trial.
Judge James Spencer also denied their request to throw out their guilty verdicts—with the exception of one conviction against Maureen.
Spencer disagreed with defense arguments that the McDonnells should be acquitted because prosecutors failed to prove that the couple exercised any official governmental power in exchange for gifts and loans from former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams.