VA Leaders Say Next Budget Is Short $500M 

Will The GOP Back Away From Gillespie’s Irresponsible Tax Plan?

Richmond, VA – In the face of news that Virginia needs to find another $500 million in the next budget to fund public education, GOP leaders in the General Assembly are in a tight spot. Their party’s candidate for governor, Ed Gillespie, has proposed a massive giveaway to the wealthy estimated to cost state coffers $1.4 billion. In comments to the Richmond Times Dispatch, House Appropriations Chairman Chris Jones (R), noted the K-12 needs are, “another obligation that must be met before we can contemplate any additional spending.”

“Today’s news regarding necessary funding for Virginia’s K-12 schools only underscores how incredibly irresponsible Ed Gillespie’s proposed massive giveaway to the wealthy really is,” said Progress Virginia executive director Anna Scholl. “Gillespie wants to spend over $1 billion on tax cuts for the wealthy while our elected officials work to scrape together pennies to pay our teachers. So the question is, will Kirk Cox, Chris Jones, and GOP leadership in the General Assembly keep playing politics and stand by Ed Gillespie’s plan to bankrupt Virginia or be responsible lawmakers and prioritize school funding over ideological gimmicks?”

According to The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis, Gillespie’s proposed tax cut would cost state coffers $1.4 billion when fully phased in. The top 1% of Virginia households would receive a tax cut 500 times larger than the lowest 20% of households. In order to receive the annual $1,285 tax cut estimated by the Gillespie campaign as the “average,” a Virginia household would have to earn over three times the median income in the commonwealth.


Virginia budget will need extra $491.8 million to fund K-12 costs
By: Michael Martz, Richmond Times Dispatch

Virginia will need to find an additional $491.8 million in its next two-year budget to fund the state’s costs for public education in kindergarten through 12th grade.

The new estimate, which the Department of Education presented to the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday, didn’t surprise state budget officials, but it made clearer the bills that must be paid in the biennial budget that Gov. Terry McAuliffe will propose in December and the General Assembly will revise early next year.

Budget officials now are waiting for the next big-ticket item with the impending revised forecast of state Medicaid costs, which could dwarf the new spending requirements for state aid to local school divisions for K-12.

“You’ve got some very large chunks of money … coming at us,” Secretary of Finance Richard D. “Ric” Brown said in an interview on Thursday.

Read more at Richmond Times Dispatch