Virginia State Senate Passes Budget On 30-10 Vote

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus reports:
The Democratic-led Senate of Virginia today passed a two year budget that will help protect jobs and critical services in the Commonwealth. The Senate budget minimizes cuts in public education, higher education, public safety and health care services while investing in economic development initiatives that will create jobs and promote economic growth in the Commonwealth. The budget includes no general fund tax increases and rejects many of the most devastating and job-eliminating cuts proposed by Governor Bob McDonnell. The budget passed the Senate with a bipartisan margin of 30-10 with all Democrats voting for passage.
Other points.

*"...the Senate rejected over $700 million in cuts to education proposed by Governor McDonnell"
*"The normal two-year recalculation of the Local Composite Index will occur under the Senate budget, meaning that state aid to local school districts will be distributed more fairly and accurately based on population and property values."
*"The Senate’s budget holds all localities harmless in the recalculation, meaning that no locality will receive less than was proposed by Governor Kaine."
*"The Senate rejected Governor McDonnell’s recommendation to eliminate the state’s support for school breakfasts..."
*"Many healthcare services that were cut or eliminated by other budget proposals were saved by the Senate."
*"The Senate budget includes $24.2 million for agricultural best management to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. It also keeps open five state parks that faced closure under Governor McDonnell’s proposed budget, including the historic Twin Lakes State Park."
*"The budget passed today by the Senate will keep cops on the street and provide adequate resources to maintain safety and order."
*"The Senate’s budget puts $81 million dollars back into local sheriff’s departments, saving the jobs of deputies who serve as the primary law enforcement in many communities."
*"The Senate budget realizes approximately $508 million in savings by partially deferring payments to the Virginia Retirement System for public employees...The deferred payment will be repaid into the VRS system in payments of $74 million annually for ten years beginning in 2013."