Thanks to Sen. Scott Surovell for providing this excellent, albeit depressing, synposis of where we’re at right now regarding Virginia’s budget situation. In short:
- “The worldwide coronavirus pandemic is likely to change much of what state legislators passed earlier this year. Many measures are in limbo, especially the state’s budget. The legislature will reconvene on April 22 to consider budget changes and vetoes that Governor Ralph Northam may propose.”
- “While the details are not yet public, when we reconvene, we will likely be faced with cancelling raises for teachers, state employees, the Virginia State Police and local law enforcement. Increases in K-12 funding will probably be significantly reduced. Our historic investments in early childhood education and the second year of college tuition freezes will likely be eliminated.”
- “On Sunday, April 12, the Governor is scheduled to announce his amendments and vetoes. He has signed many bills, but he has not acted on hundreds. In addition, because the budget trumps legislation, some bills that the Governor has already signed could be delayed or defunded by the budget. This is a truly unprecedented situation.”
On and on. In short, the amazing situation we found ourselves in heading out of the 2020 Virginia General Assembly session now seems like ancient history. Although, on the bright side, it’s a lot better that we entered this crisis flush with “rain day” funds and, in general, with a strong economic situation. Still, the next few weeks are going to be painful, starting with Gov. Northam’s announced amendments and vetoes on April 12, followed by the “reconvene” General Assembly session on April 22. Avert your eyes, I guess, if you don’t have a strong stomach, but this is the “upside-down”/”Stranger Things” world we’re currently living in.