Governor asks state agencies to cut 5% from budget - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Governor asks state agencies to cut 5% from budget

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Governor Terry McAuliffe is asking state agencies to cut five-percent this fiscal year, then seven percent the following year. It's all to make up for a $880 million shortfall.

The governor's chief of staff here wants to see the list of suggestions of cuts in less than a month.

NBC12 wanted to find out how cuts will impact you, but state agency leaders we spoke to say it's simply too early to tell. The order to reduce spending is an unwelcome goal for some state employee advocates.

"Honestly we have cut so much," said Johnna Cossaboon with the Virginia Governmental Employees Association. "They're doing their job and they're doing jobs of other people already honestly there's not that much fat to cut."

What does that amount look in dollar signs? Take the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation which helps run state parks among other things.

A director says it's looking to cut $1.7 million right now and for the next fiscal year it will be $2.4 million. The memo says higher education is exempt from the across the board cuts, which also doesn't sit well with some people who believe sacrifice should be shared.

"We feel like they need to be fair and make it completely across the board," said Cassaboon.

The governor's office say there will be targeted cuts when it comes to higher education, discussions will happen at a later time. 

A statement was sent from the Governor's office. It reads, "Governor McAuliffe is working with the General Assembly to balance the budget responsibly, while prioritizing investments that are key to economic growth. He is focused on creating jobs and building a new Virginia economy that is stronger and more resilient in the face of federal cuts. "

The deadline for the state agencies to submit a plan to reduce spending is September 19th. The governor's office says cuts should be made to the "lowest priority activities."

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