McDonnell warns of more cuts to the state workforce

RICHMOND (WWBT) - Despite a budget surplus and consistent revenue growth, Governor Bob McDonnell warned today state budget crisis is far from over. That means that state employees could be sweating out another contentious budget cycle that could end with some being laid off.

It is still several weeks before the governor will submit is biennial budget plan.

The governor often points to his success reining in spending. It is success that has led to an operating surplus of more than $540 million.

That surplus came from a mix of accounting measures, cost savings and the reduction of the state workforce.

There are 2,300 less state employees since McDonnell took office.

On his weekly radio show on WRVA, McDonnell opened the door to even more state positions going away.

"If we have agency eliminations or consolidations there may be some change in the work force," he said.

McDonnell is still dealing with an unpredictable economy, but that is only part of the problem.

Chesterfield Senator John Watkins said that so much of what happens in Washington, dictates what happens in Richmond.

"When you understand the number of people that are on the payroll here in Virginia in which Uncle Sam sings the check it's huge," said Watkins.

Lawmakers on capitol hill are still fighting over changes that could lead to across the board cuts in all federal sectors. Funding that eventually makes its way down to various Virginia state agencies.

"And that is going to impact our budget," Watkins said.

Meaning Governor McDonnell will be faced with some tough choices come January.

He said that state is still fighting to keep costs down and that the time from belt tightening is far from over.

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