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.
1. VIRGINIA BUDGET SURPLUS GROWS TO $400 MILLION
5. MCDONNELL WRITES OBAMA IN APPEAL FOR NORFOLK UNIT
7. PLANNED PARENTHOOD URGES MCDONNELL TO ACCEPT FEDERAL MONEY FOR SEX EDUCATION
9. GROUPS FILE BRIEF SUPPORTING U.VA. IN CASE AGAINST CUCCINELLI
11. ALLEN TO DISCUSS JEWISH LINEAGE AT JEWISH RETREAT
12. GOP POLL GIVES HURT 6-POINT EDGE OVER PERRIELLO
13. PERRIELLO FEELS THE HEAT IN DANVILLE STOP
14. FBI: 'NO DANGER TO THE PUBLIC' FROM POWDER MAILED TO HURT
18. JOINT FORCES COMMAND, WHICH RELIES ON CONTRACTORS, IS TEMPTING TARGET FOR GATES
21. VIRGINIA TO GROW ELK HERD IN 1 SOUTHWEST COUNTY
30. PRIVATIZING VIRGINIA LIQUOR STORES MAKES SENSE
32. HEAVY RAINS CAUSE FLOODING AROUND REGION
A flood watch is in effect for parts of Maryland, the District of Columbia, and the following counties in Virginia: ALBEMARLE, ARLINGTON/FALLS CHURCH/ALEXANDRIA, CULPEPER, FAIRFAX, GREENE, KING, GEORGE, MADISON, NELSON, ORANGE, PRINCE WILLIAM/MANASSAS/MANASSAS PARK, SOUTHERN FAUQUIER, SPOTSYLVANIA, STAFFORD.
There's also a flash flood watch (see map after the "flip") today in ALLEGHANY, AMHERST, APPOMATTOX, BEDFORD, BLAND, BOTETOURT, BUCKINGHAM, CAMPBELL, CARROLL, CRAIG, FLOYD, FRANKLIN, GILES, GRAYSON, HENRY, MONTGOMERY, PATRICK, PULASKI, ROANOKE, ROCKBRIDGE, SMYTH, TAZEWELL, WYTHE. I probably missed a few as well, check your local National Weather Service link for more.
Be careful out there. Oh, and don't for a minute think that all this crazy weather - not to mention the hottest year on record - here and around the world has anything whatsoever to do with global warming. Perish the thought, and enjoy the weather! Heh.
I can't believe I'm looking back on George W. Bush with nostalgia, but these words -- from a speech to Muslims at the White House on October 17, 2005, just 4 years after 9/11 -- make him seem like a raging liberal compared to Palin, Newt-ster, BONE-r, and the rest of today's Republican Islamophobes and crazies.
America is fortunate to count such good-hearted men and women among our fellow citizens. We have great respect for the commitment that all Muslims make to faith, family, and education. And Americans of many backgrounds seek to learn more about the rich tradition of Islam. To promote greater understanding between our cultures, I have encouraged American families to travel abroad, to visit with Muslim families. And I have encouraged American families to host exchange students from the Muslim world. I have asked young Americans to study the language and customs of the broader Middle East. And for the first time in our nation's history, we have added a Koran to the White House Library.Bush also said, "Extremists distort the idea of jihad into a call for terrorist murder against anyone who does not share their radical vision" and "The killers who take the lives of innocent men, women, and children are followers of a violent ideology very different from the religion of Islam."
All of us gathered tonight share a conviction that America must remain a welcoming and tolerant land, in which our people are free to practice any faith they choose. We reject every form of ethnic and religious discrimination. As I said in my second Inaugural Address, we cannot carry the message of freedom and the baggage of bigotry at the same time.
Wow, I'm actually starting to like this Bush guy!
State Senator Donald McEachin isn't particularly impressed with Bob McDonnell's "surplus."
"When I hear the word surplus, I assume that we've met all of our unmet needs, and clearly we haven't done that in Virginia," said Sen. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico)...."I think the overarching problem is we do not have the political will to raise revenue," McEachin said, referencing the idea of raising the gasoline tax, or freezing car tax relief.Another "overarching problem" is what Doug Mataconis calls "creative accounting... used to make people think that the financial picture of the state is better than it actually is." "Creative," as in "skipping payments to the Virginia Retirement System to the tune of $620 million." Nice.
With that, here's a statement from Nathan Daschle of the Democratic Governors Association.
Nathan Daschle, executive director of the Democratic Governors Association, issued the following statement today regarding a $1 million dollar contribution from News Corp., parent company of Fox News, to the Republican Governors Association.
"By contributing $1 million to the Republican Governors Association, Fox has crossed a bright line. Fox can no longer pretend that it is a 'fair and balanced' news organization when Rupert Murdoch greenlights a million dollar contribution to defeat Democratic governors.
"Time and time again, Fox News has defended itself against accusations that it is nothing more than a tool of the Republican Party. We know now that the reality is so much worse: they're bankrolling the GOP. FOX's news division is ignoring the fact that its own parent company made a direct and unprecedented partisan contribution to defeat Democrats. This is hypocrisy at its worst, and is a sad day for all of us who believe that an independent and impartial media is vital to our democracy.
"Not only does this contribution severely compromise Fox's news reporting, but it even breaks Fox's own promise to its shareholders that it won't give money to benefit office holders.
"While it might be naive to think this will ever happen, we can only hope that Fox will own up to the activities and that its stable of opinion hosts like Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly will do the right thing and call on their company to return the contribution."
By the way, also worth noting is that Hurt's "name recognition" is 75%, while Perriello's is 95%. As Waldo writes, "I think it's good news that Hurt's name recognition is comparatively low, because that gives Perriello a chance to define him." Good point, and that's where Tom's money advantage - not to mention his far superior public speaking and debating skills, intellect, integrity, work ethic, raw courage, etc. - comes in handy. This should be interesting.
P.S. Welcome back Waldo to the world of blogging. As he points out, it's been a rough month for him. Ugh.
1. MCDONNELL ANNOUNCES ADVISORY COUNCIL FOR HEALTH-CARE
6. MCDONNELL: NO TO MOSQUE
8. MCDONNELL, BOLLING HEADLINE FUNDRAISER FOR FLORIDA'S MARCO RUBIO
9. BOLLING SEES SIGNS OF HOPE IN STATE'S ECONOMY
10. VIRGINIA OFFICIALS MAKE CASE FOR GATES TO KEEP JOINT FORCES COMMAND OPEN
11. WEBB CALLS FOR CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS INTO DEFENSE CUTS IN VIRGINIA
16. MCDONNELL TRIES TO INCREASE SMALL, WOMEN AND MINORITY BUSINESS PROCUREMENT
18. 2ND DISTRICT INDEPENDENT GETS SEAT AT DEBATE TABLE
19. DOZENS IN CHATHAM TURN OUT FOR TOWN HALL
21. VA. COLLEGES AMONG TOP-RANKED SCHOOLS
31. U-VA. GETS SERIOUS ON RELATIONSHIP VIOLENCE
39. DESPITE DROUGHT, OUTLOOK IS GOOD FOR VIRGINIA APPLE CROP
About a dozen right-wing Christians, carrying placards and yelling "Islam is a lie," angrily confronted worshippers outside a Fairfield Avenue mosque Friday.
"Jesus hates Muslims," they screamed at worshippers arriving at the Masjid An-Noor mosque to prepare for the holy month of Ramadan. One protester shoved a placard at a group of young children leaving the mosque. "Murderers," he shouted.
But wait, this mosque isn't anywhere near "Ground Zero," so what are these fine Americans upset about? Boy, this is a tough one, let me put on my thinking cap and consider words starting with "b" and ending with "i-g-o-t-r-y." Hmmmm.
P.S. Also, see Eugene Robinson, who writes, "it's hard to think of a better way to give extremist ideology a major boost than to demonstrate what far too many of the world's 1 billion Muslims already believe is true: that the West rejects not just extremism but Islam itself." Heckuva job, Newt, Sarah, et al!
Also, see Richard Cohen, who notes that "The inclination to go from the particular to the general -- to blame a people for the acts of a few -- is what has always fueled pogroms and race riots." In this case, a few demented, warped, evil individuals murdered thousands of Americans, while 99.9999% of Muslims did NOT murder anyone. And no, that's not a difficult concept.