Ward Armstrong Slams Bob McDonnell’s Budget “tricks and gimmicks”


    I just received the following from new DPVA communications director Brian Coy. Welcome to Brian, I look forward to him kicking Republican butt – and strongly advocating for Virginia Democrats – in coming months and years!

    Armstrong: Virginia’s Retirees Need McDonnell to Lead

    Richmond, VA – Virginia House Democratic Leader Ward Armstrong released the following statement today urging Governor Bob McDonnell to heed the Virginia Retirement System’s warning that continuing to avoid payments to the system in order to balance the state budget will threaten the long-term security of Virginia employee pensions:

    “Last year Governor McDonnell had the opportunity to introduce an honest budget that funded state government without borrowing or mortgaging the future. Instead he punted and balanced the budget with tricks and gimmicks such as underfunding the Virginia Retirement System and promising to make up the cost down the road.

    “Last week, the costs of the Governor’s failure to lead began to come to bear, as the VRS board of trustees warned that such stunts put Virginia in danger of being unable to honor the promise we make to our workers that their pensions will be fully funded and available when they need them.

    “Just like families in Fairfax or Newport News can’t balance their household budgets by refusing to pay their bills, the Governor cannot continue to balance the state budget by kicking the can down the road on our obligation to our retirees.

    “I urge Governor McDonnell to take this VRS warning as the reality check it should be. He has three years to improve upon the legacy of this first year, but budgetary gimmicks, privatization schemes and continued inaction on major issues like transportation and education won’t get him there. It’s time for the Governor to step up and lead.”

    In case you missed it, The Richmond Times Dispatch Editorial Board commented on this issue on Saturday, saying:

    “The McDonnell administration and Republican legislators boast about having balanced the budget without raising taxes. But that’s hardly something to brag about when they’re running up the state credit card and raiding the cupboards of future retirees.”

    To read the entire editorial click here.


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