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Latest Virginia Cuts Include Personnel, Prisons, Higher Education

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Virginia is making its fourth round of budget reductions since July 2008, and the changes will affect virtually every state agency. This time around, Governor Tim Kaine is making more than $1.3 billion dollars in cuts. That includes 593 layoffs, a number that Kaine says could have been worse. "My heart goes out to people who lose jobs under any circumstances, especially in this tough job market," Kaine says. "But based on where we were when we started this process, the fact that we were able to get it to 593 -- I really credit the good work of this team." Kaine is ordering mandatory furlough days for many state employees and a hiring freeze for more than 300 vacant positions. He has made a point of saying that education funding for Kindergarten-12th grade was left virtually untouched, but public colleges and universities will cuts as high as 13 to 15 percent. The state will also close prisons in Brunswick and Botetourt, as well as a juvenile correctional center in Natural Bridge. Rebecca Blatt reports...

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