2011 Budget Update

Earlier today, the budget negotiators for the Virginia House of Delegates and the Senate of Virginia reached agreement on amendments to the existing state budget. The final agreement (conference report on House Bill 1500) will be voted on later today by state lawmakers as the last piece of business before the 2011 Regular Session of the Virginia General Assembly. The Conference Report on Budget Amendments just now became available online at the State Budget website.

Given your interest in the state legislature, I thought you might be interested so I'm providing the hotlink for your information and review. http://leg2.state.va.us/WebData/11amend.nsf/Conf+List/?OpenForm 

It's worth noting that the budget accord includes:

** No fees or higher taxes (Senate budget proposed fee increases, while House budget actually reduced fees by about $5 million);

** No earmark funding for non-state agencies (Senate budget proposed funding Foodbank and OpSail, among other NSAs, while House budget heeded the Attorney General's opinion that such funding is unconstitutional and prohibited);

** No funding for Capital Projects, including a new "Taj Mahal" to replace General Assembly Building (Senate budget proposed $300 million for new/renovated seat of government buildings, while House budget had zero)

** Additional $64 million deposit into the Rainy Day Fund (meaning a total of $114 million or half of the constitutionally required deposit in FY 2013);

** Eliminating the Accelerated Sales Tax (AST) for 80% of retailers (Senate budget did nothing to help retailers and other business, whileHouse budget eliminated this accounting gimmick for 98%);

** $30 million for the Behavioral Trust Fund for Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled Virginians.