says payments are “unconstitutional”.
This past January, Cuccinelli ruled that the states constitution prohibits grants to private charitable organizations. In the ensuing months, a review process of state grants was conducted, and payments to many agencies were suspended.
While the attorney general’s opinions are considered advisory, it’s clear that he intends to treat them as legally binding. His mean spirited back door approach … er opinion affects not only agencies serving the poor and disabled, but as CleetusMaggard pointed out in an earlier post:
Will dramatically affect the ability of volunteer fire and rescue squads to operate. If there is such a thing as karmic justice, somewhere there is a chicken bone with his name on it.
When the AG’s opinion was first published, Governor McDonnell’s chief of staff, Martin Kent , asked the heads of every state agency to submit a list of all charitable groups that were funded with state money.
Jasen Eige, the governor’s counselor, said “…we don’t want to run afoul of the constitution, and we’re working with the attorney general’s office to try to figure out a solution to this.”
A spokesman for Cuccinelli, Brian Gottstein, reiterated that the decisions are “being handled on a case-by-case basis, at the agency level.” He also said “That it was not the job of this office” to decide which appropriations to approve.
Presumably these “not intended to be completely honest statements” will be giving the Governor some political distance from the fallout of Cuccinelli’s disastrous and ideologically based decision.
Sen. R. Edward Houck (D-Spotsylvania) said the attorney general bears responsibility for setting this process in motion, and “I hope that level-headed people would understand that the opinion should not carry the day.” He went on to add, that if services are halted as a result of his actions, Cuccinelli would have to answer to the people of Virginia.