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Video: McDonnell touts billions in education and health cuts as the “right track” for Virginia

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Crossposted at ProgresVA

Virginians and local governments feeling the pain as McDonnell passes along state obligations while calling for even more cuts.

Just a day after Governor McDonnell’s Education Department admitted that federal stimulus funds saved or created at least 7,715 Virginia teacher jobs threatened by state budget cuts, Pass The Buck Bob took to CNN to brag about the “billions of dollars” he has cut from education and health care.

In the video, McDonnell tells CNN host Erin Burnett “we’ve cut billions of dollars out of the budget the past couple years in education and health care.” He continues by declaring “I think we’re on the right track.

“Governor McDonnell’s insistence that gutting education, public safety and health programs on which struggling Virginians depend begs the question: whose side is he on?” said ProgressVA Executive Director Anna Scholl. “McDonnell gives his biggest donors hefty tax breaks while he cuts billions of dollars from our schools and police and fire departments.”

McDonnell’s devastating budget cuts have only served to pass the buck along to local governments that can ill afford to pick up the state’s tab. With the latest jobs figures showing unemployment on the rise across the state, Pass the Buck Bob has asked cities and counties to shoulder the responsibility of cutting services to citizens or raising local property taxes to cover the state’s share.

Background:

  • Since the beginning of the recession, Virginia has cut over $1.7 billion in education funding, the equivalent of 72,500 teacher salaries. (Virginia Department of Budget and Planning, Ch 847, 2009 Acts of Assembly & 2010-2012 Ch 890, 2011 Acts of Assembly)
  • Since the beginning of the recession, Virginia has cut public safety funding by 15%, or over $277 million. (Virginia Department of Budget and Planning (Ch874 and Ch890), US Census, and Bureau of Labor Statistics.)
  • In March, Governor McDonnell approved the Coal Employment and Production Incentive Tax Credit, which provides $45 million/year to Dominion Virginia Power and Appalachian Power (The Washington Post)
  • Governor McDonnell has received $328,220 from Dominion and $82,275 from Appalachian Power (VPAP,VPAP)