LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR BOLLING PLEDGES TO WORK WITH GOVERNOR KAINE TO FIND RESPONSIBLE BUDGET SOLUTIONS - Bolling also expresses continued concern over Governor's budget estimates-
RICHMOND - Earlier today, Governor Tim Kaine announced a series of reductions to Virginia's state budget to bring the budget into balance in light of declining revenue collections. In response to the Governor's announcement, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling issued the following statement:
"These are challenging economic times for Virginia, with the Commonwealth facing a potential budget shortfall of $2B to $3B in the remaining months of the current biennium. While some of this shortfall is due to a sharper than anticipated decline in the national economy, a significant portion of this shortfall is due to the unreasonable revenue estimates the Governor included in his budget last year. I warned at the time that the Commonwealth could face significant budget shortfalls if these revenue estimates were not met, and unfortunately that is precisely what has happened.
"I applaud the Governor for his commitment to bring the budget into balance through spending reductions and not higher taxes. While we can discuss where and how these spending reductions should be made, I am committed to working with the Governor to reduce the budget where necessary, while preserving to the greatest extent possible the core services of state government. This will not be an easy task, but it is a necessary task. When times get tough families and businesses must tightened their budgets and spend within their means, and state government should do the same.
"However, I am concerned that the Governor's budget reforecast still anticipates revenue growth of 3.6% in the 2010 fiscal year. Based on current economic performance, I continue to believe that this estimate could prove overly optimistic. A more prudent course would be to base our 2010 budget on a more conservative revenue estimate. While this would require additional spending reductions, if we continue to base our budget on unrealistic revenue estimates, we could face additional budget shortfalls next year.
"I look forward to working with the Governor and the members of the General Assembly to bring the budget into balance through spending reductions and adopt reasonable revenue estimates for future budget years. This is what the people of Virginia should expect and this is what we should deliver."
Link to Governor's Press Release:
Governor Kaine today announced the official revenue reforecast, and immediately announced an executive spending reduction plan to meet the fiscal year 2009 shortfall. The Governor's plan reduces government spending the scope of some government programs.