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    Va. lawmakers brace for possible $1 billion deficit

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Virginia state senators are planning to meet early this month to discuss a potential $1.35 billion budget shortfall.

    The lawmakers are reviewing potential spending cuts in light of new, lower-than expected tax revenue forecasts, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

    Leaders of the Senate Finance Committee met Thursday to discuss making sure the state can use up to $675 million from a rainy day fund to offset the revenue shortfall.

    Senate Finance Co-Chairman Walter A. Stosch, R-Henrico, said lawmakers will meet again June 9 for more budget discussion. He said the state needs to pass a budget before July 1 so it can access the state's Revenue Stabilization Fund, or rainy day fund. Without an enacted budget, lawmakers might not be able to access rainy-day money.

    Democrats and Republicans have been deadlocked on passing a budget for the next two years because of disagreement over whether the budget should include Medicaid expansion.

    The budget shortfalls have increased the urgency for a budget solution.

    Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe's administration announced last week that lower-than-expected tax collections, particularly from capital gains, could leave a $300 million to $350 million budget hole for the current fiscal year that ends in June.

    House Appropriations Committee Chairman S. Chris Jones, R-Suffolk, sent a letter to local governments Wednesday informing them that the shortfall for the coming two years could be $1 billion.

    "While we will not know the final revenue numbers until the end of June, it appears very likely that the commonwealth could face a significant revenue shortfall for the current and next fiscal years," Jones said in his letter.

    He added that the state's rainy day funds "could mitigate the impact of these reductions on local governments."

    Senate Finance Committee member Sen. John Watkins, R-Powhatan, estimated the shortfall could be as high as $1.4 billion.

    Comments

    Cooch -repay VA 4 frivolous lawsuits, McDonnell -repay lawyer fees, Star Scientific -repay investment losses, etc.


    There is no shortfall just too much spending!


    Diokan - The medicaid debate in VA is over the extension that is 100% funded by the feds.


    Lucky for us we have a democrat in office, they have done a much better job with deficits than our republican Governors.


    So much for the ‘recovery’.

    @fedupdude - Perhaps you are thinking of Medicare? Medicaid is “...jointly funded by the federal government and states. The federal government pays states for a specified percentage of program expenditures, called the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP).”

    That’s from the Medicaid web site.


    There are no federal funds just federal debt that we will pay interest on!
    300 million cut in state funding to the MWAA is the first option to help with the balance. Can you feel your wallet getting lighter. Sequestration worked at the federal level so try it on the state budget starting at 10%. Pay down the state debt completely!


    Medicaid is paid for with federal funds. Learn the facts.


    And the Guv wants to throw good money after bad by expanding the failed Medicaid system.

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