Spending reductions and unspent balances will net another $116.3 million. Gov. Terry McAuliffe was happy to announce no K-12 education programs will be cut. The lottery and the big Powerball jackpot proved to be a significant help with education funding.
"There will be no program cuts to public education, Medicaid for our families most in need, nor our core public safety services. We did not kick our budget problems to local governments by reducing payments to cities, counties or towns," said McAuliffe. "These are obviously difficult decisions to make and there may be more to come, but I am confident that the progress and investments we are making today will put Virginia on course for strong growth well into the future."
The Department of Corrections will take a hit as the opening of a new women's corrections facility in Culpeper will be pushed back. The Library of Virginia also faces some possible layoffs.
The governor blamed the budget shortfall on less revenue from income and sales tax than anticipated.
"You've seen higher paying jobs, those with seniority, those Baby Boomers who are moving out of the job market," said McAuliffe. "Coming into the market are younger people, not at the same wage scale. In addition, many are working part time in this new economy."
McAuliffe pushed Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act again, hoping to cash in on federal dollars.
"We would also save our budget $211 million dollars annually," he said. "We cannot continue to leave this money on the table."
However, Republicans already voted down the move three times already, saying it would only lead Virginia into a deeper budget hole.
The governor also forewarned about federal cuts and sequestration impacting Virginia with the next round of federal sequestration possibly to hit next year.
The governor says he'll propose the rest of the cuts for 2018 in December. Of course, the General Assembly must approve the budget.
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