Monday, February 18, 2008

House Republicans Propose Responsible Budget

Yesterday, House Republicans unveiled their amendments to Gov. Kaine’s budget. In contrast to Kaine’s budget, which includes numerous new and expanded spending items (like $45 million for his pet project, Pre-K), the GOP budget reflects a more responsible approach. Republicans decided to put the needs of Virginians ahead of the needs of big government. The GOP budget protects core priorities: education, transportation, mental health, and public safety. The result is a budget that is friendly to students and taxpayers, and its central accomplishments are listed below:

*Fully funds core services.

*Restores $180 million in transportation funds directed elsewhere by the Governor.

*Includes $570 million less debt than the Governor’s package.

*Uses approximately $200 million less from the Rainy Day Fund than the Governor.

*Provides $42 million for Mental Health Reform.

*Significantly increases funding for Mental Retardation Waivers; Kaine proposed funding 150, GOP proposes funding 800.

*Finances two percent pay raise for teachers, college faculty and state employees.

Like Gov. Kaine, Republicans in the House had to find ways to cut government spending. The difference: Kaine wants to cut spending on education; Republicans want to cut spending on government programs. Here’s how:

*Review all proposed program expansions and Governor’s new initiatives.

*Reduce existing funding not dedicated to core governmental activities.

*Consolidate government agencies.

*Review programs for alternative funding sources - i.e., federal funds, fees, Literary Funds.

Basically, we end up with a budget (HB29 & HB30) that radically decreases government spending, while fully funding core services and increasing funds where they are needed the most. The House budget is a victory for the citizens of the Commonwealth, and a defeat for big government.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

To be in full disclosure, maybe it should be noted that the House budget also defunds about $14 million worth of economic development incentives.

I thought the House Republicans prided themselves on making Virginia the #1 state for business???

Timothy Watson said...

So, it's a "responsible budget" when Commonwealth's Attorney's positions are not fully funded? How does a county (Buckingham) with only 16,099 people managed to get money for full-time funding but a county (Caroline) with 26,731 people doesn't?

Caroline County was also ranked as most in need of additional attorney staffing as well according to the State Compensation Board.

I'm sure it would have nothing to do with the Delegate that represents Buckingham County being on the subcommittee that approved funding, would it?

Timothy Watson said...

How about cutting equipment for the Virginia Community College System in the tune of $27,300,000 while spending $35,444,000 on "student centers". Priorities anyone?