Budget cuts hit nearly every state agency

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - More fallout today in the wake the governor's 1.3 billion dollar budget cuts.

State agencies are scrambling to determine the impact of this latest round of reductions. It could be a few days before the impact starts to trickle down to you, but we know tonight many local places that are taking a hit.

When the capital tightens its belt, agencies across the region feel the pinch.

"Whenever there are budget cuts of this magnitude it really does tend to filter down. To just about everybody in the budget," said John Baumann, Director of the Fan Free Clinic.

This was the second time in two years the Fan Free Clinic took a hit; losing ten percent of its funding. And when your services are free, every dollar is magnified.

"For every dollar that we spend, we deliver over $5 in medical care," said Baumann.

Local libraries just lost 5 percent of their state funding and won't know for a few weeks how the cuts will be absorbed. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts had a million dollars taken from its budget. All while in the middle of a 150 million dollar expansion project.

"The new costs for the addition are several million dollars a year more. So a million dollars sets us that much further behind," said Alex Nyerges, Director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

The museum's director says his agency was not surprised and had fair warning, but says it doesn't make his decisions any easier.

"Where we're going to suffer the most is with staffing. We're going to have two people doing the job of 4, one person doing the job of three," said Nyerges.

University of Richmond Political Science Professor Dan Palazzolo says despite four rounds of cuts, Kaine may leave office unscathed.

"Politically there seems to be a rough consensus that the choices that the governor made are sensible and appropriate and just necessary at this time," said Palazzolo.

The notable agencies left out of the cuts this go around: the DMV and the Virginia Employment Commission.

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