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‘Chasm’ separates Virginia House and Senate adopted budgets

Almost half a billion dollars separates the Virginia House and Senate adopted budgets.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch quotes Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Fairfax, as saying the $500,000 difference makes impending negotiations equal to “starting off with one person on Mercury and the other on Pluto.” Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment, R-James City, called the difference in the in budgets adopted Thursday a “chasm.”

The House budget accepts more than $2.5 billion in federal funding for Medicaid expansion, allowing a redirection of at least $370 million in savings to education and mental health care, among other areas. It also offers several raises, including a 2 percent boost for public employees. The Senate budget, which also includes new spending for Virginia’s mental health care system, offers a 2 percent raise for public employees if funds are available.


Cut the Dept. of Historic Resources.  With millions upon millions of fraud and abuse, they can’t do their job and need to go.  Protections can be and are managed at the county and federal levels.  It is redundant and a waste.

How about funding for the rural roads in Loudoun County. Terry Mcawful made sure that any money that came into Transportation bypassed the Loudoun County area to support Fairfax. Our children are in danger when school buses have to travel these dangerous back roads and the VDOT support structure has not had an increase in funding in over a decade in that critical rural area of Loudoun County.

How about supporting the transition of Dulles Airport out of the federal government back to Virginia control? How about no longer stealing over $200 million per year from Loudoun under the guise that counties in southern Virginia who have much lower property tax rates than Loudoun need sales tax funds Loudoun schools should receive? How about raising the cigarette tax to at least the same amount contiguous states charge so more income can be received and less cost chasing down inter-state transporters of cigarettes? How about allowing counties to set their own budget policies for generating school funding like bus advertisements etc? How about ending the Dillon State regimen which constricts counties from acting in their own best interests without having to wake up and then beg Richmond for support?
Bob Ohneiser Esq.

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