Size of Government Shrinks—for the first time in recent memory, the budget adopted today is SMALLER than the last budget. In fact, the 2010-2012 Biennial Budget returns Virginia to 2006 spending levels.
Rolled Back Kaine Tax Increases—Despite Kaine’s proposed budget including a 17% increase in the income tax and his invitation to localities to reimpose the car tax, the budget contains neither of these major taxes.
Rolled Back Kaine, Senate Fee Increases—Kaine proposed $165 million in fees, Democrats in the Senate doubled down, proposing over $300 million in fees; the final budget contains less than $100 million in new fee revenue, and each fee directly funds the service to which it relates (meeting the “nexus” test).
Corrects Chronic Revenue Estimate Shortfalls—After years of Kaine purposefully overestimating revenues to increase spending, this budget makes real revenue estimates and includes a $50 million reserve to be deposited in the Rainy Day Fund if revenue estimates are realized.
Structural Reform to Keep Spending in Check—Budget cuts in recent years have largely been made with gimmicks and short-term fixes. This budget makes real structural reforms that will continue to control spending in the future - Public Employee Retirement Reform—the budget reformed the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) for new state employees, requiring employees to contribute to their own retirement, just like they would in the private sector, as well as increasing the retirement age to match Social Security. - Education—reformed education support formulas to save money, emphasize classroom spending, and increase flexibility for localities in staffing ratios and programming decisions
Other Good News - Reduced arts grants by $1.3 million; reduced public broadcasting by 15% - Added 250 Intellectually Disabled Waiver slots to the Medicaid program promoting home- and community-based care over institutionalization. - Elimintated Gov. Kaine’s freeze on all community- based waivers - Savings in Administrative Spending--$5.2 million in tax department; $4 million in health agencies; saves $7.3 million in legislative branch; $22.6 million in judicial branch; $120 million in aid to localities - Restored cuts to public safety and law enforcement spending proposed by Gov. Kaine