House Democrats Laud Budget Passage
Federal Stimulus Funds Help Virginia Avoid More Devastating Cuts
Richmond, VA - Today, the Virginia House of Delegates passed Virginia's budget in the midst of the worst economic crisis since World War II by an overwhelming vote of 90-8. The hundreds of millions of dollars provided by the federal stimulus package allowed Virginia to avoid thousands of additional state job cuts and significant additional cuts to core services such as education, public safety and health care.
"Without the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan approved by Congress with President Obama's leadership, we would have been in far more trouble than we already are," said House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong. "Being able to partially fill the massive budget shortfall with nearly a billion dollars in federal stimulus money was an absolute lifeline to the Commonwealth of Virginia."
"Nearly $500 million in stimulus funds went into education," said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Ken Plum. "I am glad that we were able to get serious about our budget situation and go from using magic money supposedly in the Water Quality Improvement Fund to real money provided by the federal government to help staunch the fiscal hemorrhaging."
"A majority of Republicans consistently opposed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, but were more than happy to use the money to avoid more politically unpopular cuts," said Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Kenneth Alexander.
UPDATE: Gov. Kaine's statement in the comments section.