www.tidewaterreview.com/news/schools/va-tr-governor-unveils-959-billion-20152016-budget-20131216,0,270744.story

tidewaterreview.com

Governor unveils $95.9 billion 2015-2016 budget

Includes educational funding, water quality improvement, teacher pension

Advertisement

Governor Bob McDonnell unveiled the Commonwealth’s budget for the next two fiscal years in a morning address to the Joint Money Committees of the General Assembly. The budget, totaling approximately $95.9 billion for the biennium (General Fund: $37.7 billion; Non-General Fund: $58.2 billion), continues the governor’s focus on promoting private-sector job creation and growing the Commonwealth’s economy in spite of ongoing fiscal uncertainty at the federal level.

In addressing the Joint Money Committees, the governor remarked, “We have talked many times about the “Virginia Way” by which we govern.  We analyze and debate budget and policy issues passionately but civilly.  Then we find common ground and solve problems.  The Virginia Way is one of sharing credit for getting positive results for the good of our people.  Eight million people are counting on the Virginia Way continuing! 

“This approach is especially important today when my introduced budget is handed off to a governor-elect of a different party.  Accomplishments and progress require statesmanship in both branches of government.  I hope you will find the Virginia Way at work in these budget recommendations.  The major spending recommendations focus on the core public services which lead to prosperity.  They also decrease our reliance on budgetary gimmicks that helped in the past but run counter to structural balance and sound financial judgment.  You will also find a fair amount of embedded caution, given the global economic and national political uncertainty.”

The governor concluded his remarks noting, “Over the past four years we have worked together to put the “Virginia Way” to work in building a “Commonwealth of Opportunity” for all Virginians. With your cooperation, we have gotten very good results for our citizens. Unemployment has fallen from 7.4% to 5.6%. Over 172,000 net new jobs have been created, and we are the country’s most business friendly state! We passed the first long-term transportation funding plan in a generation. Our colleges and universities are more affordable and accessible, and on the way to issuing 100,000 new degrees for Virginia students. We reduced the future liability in our pension system by $9 billion. We’ve brought more innovation, accountability, and choice to our K-12 system and rewarded our excellent, hard-working teachers. We’ve cared for the prisoners, the orphans, the hungry, the mentally ill, and the homeless, as the Scriptures say we must. Today, as I enter my last weeks as governor, I sincerely thank you for your strong partnership, your warm friendship, and your can-do, results-oriented leadership.  By any metric, Virginia is stronger today, and we left the campground better than we found it. Our economy is growing. Our schools, roads, pensions, people, natural resources, and jobs are stronger. Now, as you consider this biennial budget, I ask that you keep this progress going and work with Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe and his team to accomplish even more in the years ahead.”

The governor’s full remarks can be read at: http://www.governor.virginia.gov/utility/docs/BiennialBudgetPresentation_Monday121613.pdf 

General Fund revenue growth of 4.2 percent is expected in fiscal year 2015, with growth of 3.9 percent anticipated in fiscal year 2016

Selected Highlights of the Governor's Biennial Budget:

The full budget can be found at: http://www.governor.virginia.gov/utility/media/JMC%20with%20Appendix%2012-16-13.pdf