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Virginia: Kaine cuts $2.3M from office budget

Story by Chris Graham

They’re cutting newspaper subscriptions, staff cell-phone costs, even the grocery bill for official events at the state residence. Yep, it’s getting serious in Richmond.

“If Virginia families and businesses have to make difficult spending decisions in tough times, we need to show them we’re doing the same,” Gov. Tim Kaine said in announcing $900,000 in his executive office budget for fiscal-year 2009 and another $1.4 million in cuts for FY 2010 in response to the talk that the state might be facing as much as a $3 billion budget shortfall in the current biennium.

“Taxpayers trust us to run a lean government. All these cuts – big and small – add up, and they all count,” Kaine said.

The cuts announced today include:

– Elimination of eight positions through layoffs and turnover.

– Trimming almost 25 percent off the grocery bill for official events at the residence.

– Reductions in travel for state business by the Governor and First Lady.

– Reductions in staff cell-phone costs, newspapers subscriptions and travel.

– Ending purchase of bottled water.

– Sending more invitations to functions by e-mail instead of by U.S. mail.

– Cutting dry cleaning bills for linens used at official events at the residence.

The cuts, combined with executive office budget cuts implemented by the governor last year, bring the total in cuts to the office budget to $1.9 million annually.

augusta free press
augusta free press