Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Speaker of the House Howell's Statement on Governor McDonnell's Budget Plan

RICHMOND, VA – Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates William J. Howell (R-Stafford) today issued
the following statement after Governor McDonnell’s address to the Joint Money Committees of the Virginia
General Assembly:

“I whole heartedly support the reform measures and reprioritizations contained in Governor McDonnell’s
proposed biennial budget. The Governor has been a great ally in the fight for common-sense fiscal solutions,
low taxes and budgetary prudence for many years, and we look forward to championing many of the measures
contained in his budget,” said Howell.

The 2012-2014 biennial budget is the first and only budget completely within the control of the
McDonnell Administration. The Governor’s proposal is targeted to fund core functions of government –
transportation, education, public safety, economic development and employee retirement funding – and does
not raise taxes. Key investments include $2.2 billion in state and local contributions to the Virginia Retirement
System, $438 million for K-12 public education, $230 million for higher education and $100 million to
continue the Commonwealth’s highly successful economic development efforts.

“Tackling structural reforms to the VRS, transportation and education is an onerous task. The increase in
VRS employer contribution rates and adjustments to increase transportation maintenance funding will
significantly improve the long-term stability of these critical programs,” continued Howell.

The budget includes various measures to increase the liquidity of state assets, a step intended to address
lingering economic uncertainty and preserve Virginia’s triple-AAA bond rating. The investment of $300
million into the Rainy Day Fund will effectively double those reserves by the close of the biennium, while an
investment of $50 million into the newly created Federal Action Contingency Trust Fund and an unappropriated
balance of $31.4 million will help guard the Commonwealth against unforeseen financial challenges.

“Governor McDonnell’s budget proposal is a study in restrained spending and the prioritization of funds
to core government services. Fiscal prudence, liquidity and an aversion to government overreach are the basis
of Governor McDonnell’s approach to budgeting. The House Republican Caucus shares in these values and we
look forward to working hand-in-hand with the Governor on the ambitious reprioritization and reform measures
in his budget,” said Howell.