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Debate Over Virginia's "Surplus" Continues

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Gov. Bob McDonnell says damage and injuries appear to be very minor. Major infrastructure and oil pipelines are in tact.
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Gov. Bob McDonnell says damage and injuries appear to be very minor. Major infrastructure and oil pipelines are in tact.

By Jonathan Wilson

Virginia's Governor Bob McDonnell says most of the Commonwealth's unexpected surplus has already been spoken for.

Democrats say the money isn't even a real surplus.

McDonnell told state lawmakers the $404 million in question is a sign that Virginia is emerging from one of the roughest economic stretches in its modern history.

"I think we're seeing some light at the end of the tunnel, because of some conservative budgeting, some good fiscal management and some investments in economic development," McDonnell says.

Democratic State Delegate David Englin, of Alexandria, says when so many state services have been cut, calling the money a surplus is simply wrong.

"Any citizen looking around and seeing that their services have declined, would look at politicians claiming a surplus and be incredulous," Englin says.

McDonnell says he'll use the money to restore funds lawmakers borrowed from the state's retirement system, and to pay bonuses to thousands of state workers.

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