Revenues Down $1.2 Billion For 2010

By Andy Jenks - bio | email
Posted by Rachel Vamenta - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - State workers are again on notice that many of them will likely be losing their jobs. This follows Governor Tim Kaine's confirmation that state budget numbers are getting worse.

"But while we've made many tough decisions, we're not done," said Gov. Kaine.

For the fourth time in less than a year, Kaine said the budget numbers that lawmakers once knew are getting worse. This time: a newly discovered drop in revenues, in the amount of 1.2 billion dollars for 2010.

"Everything is under review," said Kaine.

While the governor did not say when - or how many - programs would have to go, he acknowledged that some state workers who thought they were safe will instead be losing their jobs.

"We manage in real time to a balanced budget and sometimes the right strategy has been for layoffs," said Kaine.

Even the governor's top two legislative priorities are not immune.

"Public education is number one, public safety a very close second," said Kaine.

"Public education is 34 percent of our general fund budget. You don't have any sacred cows when you're faced with that type of circumstance, faced with a 1.5 billion dollar shortfall," said Delegate Phillip Hamilton, Appropriations Committee Vice Chair.

The cuts come amid what Kaine called the toughest economy of the last seventy years. And while he said there are reasons to be optimistic, this announcement may still not be the last of its kind.

"We're considering a number of different options, but until we make the decision, I think the best thing to say is we've got some very painful decisions to make," Kaine said.

From here on out, the timeline looks like this: Kaine and his staff will collect input from state agencies. They will then decide what to cut. An announcement is expected in early September.

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