Storm clouds: House Dems talk up other side of budget surplus

Virginia House Democrats talked up the other side of the $448 million state budget surplus announced on Wednesday.

The revenue increase is in part the result of the net growth in General Fund revenues, which rose 5.4 percent in FY 2012.  The budget was constructed on an estimate of 4.5 percent growth.  Another big part of the surplus came as a result of savings by state employees, who were asked to be more economical.

“It is great to see that we will be able to provide a 3 percent bonus to all of our dedicated and hard-working state employees as we provided for in the budget last winter,” said Democratic Leader David Toscano, D-Charlottesville. “Our employees have suffered through very difficult times, and this bonus represents an important step in recognizing their service.”

“Virginia is fortunate to be the single largest beneficiary of Federal spending,” said Del. Mark Sickles, D-Franconia. “While this is good news for the Commonwealth, there are storm clouds on the horizon.  The Federal Golden Goose, the primary source of our low unemployment rate, faces sequestration or other budget constraints.

‘All of Virginia’s congressional delegation must work together to find bipartisan compromise that will help alleviate our national debt problem without destroying the Virginia economy.  It is impossible to do this if we elect candidates that will not accept $1 in new revenue in exchange for $10 in cuts,” Sickles said.

“Virginia would be remiss if it did not thank President Obama for his leadership during this economic recovery,” said Del. Mamye BaCote, D-Newport News, a senior Appropriations Committee member. “We have been climbing out of the worst recession since my childhood under President Obama’s leadership, and this positive news simply provides another clear reason why he deserves a second term.”

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