State announces $311M surplus

Gov. Bob McDonnell announced today that the state ended the 2011 fiscal year with a $311 million general-fund surplus.

A key to the fiscal picture – state revenues were up 5.8 percent over fiscal-year 2010, well ahead of the 3.5 percent revenue growth that had been projected.

The state ended fiscal-year 2010 with a $228 million budget surplus.

“The great challenge of our time is getting our economy back on track, putting our people back to work, and getting our fiscal houses in order at the local, state and federal levels,” McDonnell said. “For too long, elected officials from both parties have overpromised and overspent, and the result is the fiscal crisis we see unfolding in Washington D.C. Here in Richmond, we are committed to implementing a culture of fiscal responsibility and restraint in our state government.

“Working together, Republicans and Democrats have made some very tough choices. We have reduced spending, not raised taxes and focused government on its core functions. As a result, we have seen back-to-back years of revenue surpluses. The Commonwealth, like our families and businesses, is living within its means,” McDonnell said.

Democratic Party of Virginia Chairman Brian Moran countered that the surplus announced by McDonnell today is one “built on gimmicks, borrowing and short-changing investments in Virginia’s future.”

“Bob McDonnell is building a Virginia in which state and local governments struggle to educate our kids, keep our communities safe, build and maintain infrastructure, and keep our promise to our retirees. We are falling behind other states, and that is nothing to celebrate,” Moran said.

Just less than half of the surplus dollars – $146.6 million – will be earmarked for the state rainy-day fund, Secretary of Finance Ric Brown said. The remainder will go to a state water-quality fund, transportation, interest on unemployment compensation, tornado-damage relief, Base Realignment and Closure and supplemental public-safety funding.

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