When will Bob McDonnell “man up” and admit that his supposed “budget surplus” comes almost entirely through a combination of: a) shortchanging the state retirement system; and b) a huge influx of assistance (see the press release by the Commonwealth Institute below) from the evil “tax and spend” federal government? Oh, and while he’s admitting that, maybe he can also thank Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi for saving his butt? Yeah, I know, “don’t hold your breath.”
Federal Infusion Helps to Stop the Bleeding: The Inside Story of ARRA Funds in Virginia
New Report Shows How Recovery Act Funds Helped Virginia Balance Its Budget
RICHMOND, VA -Fiscal relief funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) continue to be a key element in helping Virginia balance its budget, according to a new report by The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis.
“Recovery Act funds helped Virginia avoid deeper cuts in key services like health care, education, and public safety,” said Michael Cassidy, President and CEO of The Commonwealth Institute. In a new report released today, The Commonwealth Institute documents how enhanced Medicaid matching funds, additional federal funds for education and public safety and flexible federal fiscal stabilization funds filled over 15 percent of the shortfalls facing the current state budget and 25 percent of the shortfalls in the previous one. The report also shows the breakout of fiscal relief funding by budget area.
“Virginia will receive a total of about $2.5 billion in fiscal relief funds from the Recovery Act,” explained Cassidy. “The General Assembly used $1.6 billion of this funding to fill Virginia’s FY2008-2010 budget gap, leaving $870 million to help meet Virginia’s FY2010-2012 budget needs. This funding helped close 16 percent of the budget shortfall and helped avoid further cuts to key areas like health care, education, and public safety.”
This report comes as Governor McDonnell is set to address the General Assembly’s budget committees August 19 on the current status of Virginia’s budget. “As we continue to grapple with the impacts of the recession, it’s important to recognize that significant amounts of federal assistance from the Recovery Act have helped soften some of the fiscal blow from cratering state revenues and recession-related increases in the demand on state services, but the state has a long way to go before its budgets are back in healthy shape,” says Cassidy.
The complete report is available online at www.thecommonwealthinstitute.org.