House budget includes $95 million for rainy day fund, teacher pay raises and funding for school security
RICHMOND, VA -- The Virginia House of Delegates outlined its proposed amendments to the 2012-2014 state budget Sunday. The proposal includes a $95 million deposit in the state's rainy day fund, $45 million in local aid reversion, a pay raise for teachers and school support staff, new funding for school security and funding for 250 Medicaid waiver slots.
"This is a conservative and responsible budget that makes targeted investments in our core areas of need and focuses on our governing priorities: jobs, K-12 and higher education, public safety and health care," said House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford).
House Majority Leader and Appropriations Committee Vice-Chairman M. Kirkland "Kirk" Cox (R-Colonial Heights) said fiscal discipline remains the focus of the committee.
"On the heels of the news that our national economy shrunk in the last quarter of 2012, it's important that we continue to exercise fiscal discipline," said Cox. "We are proposing a $95 million deposit in to the state's rainy day fund, $45 million more than Governor McDonnell called for, to prepare Virginia for any economic challenges that may be looming. In addition, we are focused on making our budget structurally sound for the long term by ending budget gimmicks. This budget proposes $45 million to eliminate local aid reversion and sends that money back to the localities.”
The House budget also includes targeted economic development incentives, including $2.5 million for the creation of a Cyber Accelerator program to attract cyber security companies to Virginia and increases the angel investor tax credit cap by $500,000.
"Job creation and economic development continue to be our top priority," said Delegate Steve Landes (R-Augusta), Chairman of the House Appropriations Economic Development Subcommittee. "In the past three years, we have invested over $100 million in concentrated economic development and watched our unemployment rate drop to 5.5 percent. But we know there is more work to do. Funding the Cyber Accelerator and expanding the angel investor tax credit are just two examples of our efforts to continue to create a good climate for job creation here in the Commonwealth."
The House budget expands on Governor Bob McDonnell's proposal to fund a two percent pay raise for Virginia's teachers and also includes funding for school support staff, for a total of $62 million. The House budget also provides $12 million for higher education enrollment growth and $3.7 million to increase TAG grants from $2,800 to $3,100 per student.
"We want to reward and recognize our teachers because the selfless work they do is critical to the education of our young people. Educating our young people is critical to Virginia's long-term economic development. As they grow older, we want to make sure all of our students have the opportunity to attend a Virginia college or university. Expanded funding to encourage enrollment growth and TAG grants are two important parts of achieving that goal," said Delegate Bob Tata (R-Virginia Beach), Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on K-12 Education.
House Republicans announced on Friday the budget would include $31 million for school and public safety, including $1.7 million for school resource officers and $30 million for security improvements in Virginia schools.
"The $31 million we have proposed will help ensure that our public schools continue to be safe and se-cure places where students can learn and succeed,” said Delegate Beverly Sherwood (R-Frederick). “Working together, we can provide the tools for school resource officers, school security officers and infrastructure improvements necessary to ensuring that Virginia remains one of the best places to raise a child for years to come.”
The House budget includes funding for 250 Medicaid waiver slots, including 200 Intellectual Disability slots and 50 Development Disability slots, said Delegate Riley Ingram.
"The House budget includes $7.7 million in funding for ID and DD Medicaid waiver slots. Protecting the health care safety net for less fortunate Virginians is absolutely critical. This budget will mean 250 fewer Virginia families waiting for Medicaid waivers," said Ingram.
The House of Delegates is expected to vote on its budget proposal on Thursday.
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RICHMOND, VA – Highlighting the legislative achievements of the 60-member strong House Republican Majority Caucus in delivering real reforms and forward-looking investments to address the concerns of the Commonwealth, Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) today highlighted the positive results of the policy initiatives advanced by House Republicans this year. After cutting fees, reducing authorized debt, investing in core government services and depositing an additional $64 million into the Rainy Day Fund, the House of Delegates today adjourned sine die, bringing an end to the 2011 Regular Session of the Virginia General Assembly.
“The Republican-led House made real progress during the 2011 Regular Session and on many fronts, especially in passing a fiscally sound and structurally balanced state budget that funds core government services,” said Speaker Howell. “At our insistence, the final budget agreement includes no new fees or higher taxes. It has no earmarks for non-state agencies. There is no funding or debt for a new ‘Taj Mahal’ to replace the General Assembly Building. There is $67 million less in authorized debt. And, the accelerated sales tax is eliminated for 80% of retailers. Yet, there also are prudent investments in economic development, transportation, education, health care and other important services. Overall, we’ve had a very productive legislative session.”
Below is the outcome for a selected list of 100+ measures – grouped by topic – supported by the House Republican Majority. In all, about 1,600 pieces of legislation were approved by the General Assembly this year.
Filling in for Jimmy, guest host
- The no-tax-increase way from a $4.2 Billion deficit to a balanced budget
- How to foster a pro-business, pro-jobs economy
As well as the sure-fire method to stop job creation—create uncertainty for business with the Obama/Congressional Democrat unclear agenda of bloated government, new taxes, and increased regulation.
Del. Steve Landes (R-Augusta) relays a lesson the Senate has failed to learn--you have to know how much you can spend before you start spending it. The Senate Budget makes promises that responsible revenue figures won't support. Landes details the flaws in the Senate revenue estimates and their irresponsible decision not to provide for a deposit to begin replenishing the Rainy Day fund.
The transcript of his remarks follows:
- Restore the Car Tax and reject higher taxes in a recession;
- Eliminate Fee Increases embedded in Gov. Kaine's introduced budget;
- Modify Kaine's "dealer discount" proposal on taxes collected by businesses
- Mitigate cuts to law enforcement and public safety since these activities are among the primary responsibilities of government;
- Invest in job-creating economic development;
- Minimize the impact of cuts on the health safety net;
- Provide school divisions maximum flexibility in implementing education budget reductions; and
- Establish a substantial reserve to replenish the Rainy Day Fund and help ensure a more structurally balanced budget going forward.
Chairman Putney summarized the proposal, saying: "our committee budget recommendations will clearly and strategically focus state resources on keeping our promises to fund the core services of government in a structurally more balanced manner so as the economy recovers we can begin to make new investments and enjoy growing levels of opportunities and prosperity."
Chairman Putney's full remarks are available here: 20100221 - News Release - Chairman Putney Remarks on Budget Amendments Released by House Appropriations Committee
Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) and House Majority Caucus Chairman Samuel A. “Sam” Nixon, Jr. (R-Chesterfield) today highlighted the many legislative successes so far by members of the Republican Majority Caucus through the halfway point of the 2010 Session of the Virginia General Assembly. The announcement comes at the 2010 session’s midway mark, commonly referred to as “crossover.” By that date, which this year fell on February 16, each house must have acted on the bills filed by its respective members.
“As Virginians struggle in today’s economy, state government must address their needs without burdening them with additional job-killing taxes and burdensome requirements,” said Speaker Howell. “
“Offering practical solutions to Virginia’s challenges is a hallmark of House Republican leadership in the General Assembly,” said Chairman Nixon. “With our citizens and Commonwealth confronting the most difficult economic environment in decades, it is essential to build and expand upon our many accomplishments. The overwhelming bipartisan support for many items on our agenda underscores the ability of Republicans to govern effectively and respond appropriately to the concerns of Virginians.”