Virginia General Assembly Expected To Focus On Budget Issues | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Virginia General Assembly Expected To Focus On Budget Issues

Play associated audio

By Anne Marie Morgan, Virginia Public Radio

The 2011 Virginia General Assembly convenes Wednesday for a short, 46-day session. Although lawmakers will consider a few thousand bills, many believe spending and the state budget will again dominate the session.

Gov. Bob McDonnell wants to reallocate $191 million to job creation, higher education and transportation. House budget conferee Kirk Cox said the governor's plan to shore up the state retirement fund through a 5 percent employee contribution will also be debated.

"He was prudent with a 3 percent increases to offset that, the possibility of a 2 percent bonus, if state employees find the savings, so they can be somewhat made whole. I think that was smart," he says.

Cox says the governor's proposal to accelerate using bonds for transportation will be a significant issue. He and lawmakers recently met with national credit rating agencies and discussed the plan's impact on Virginia's Triple A bond rating.

And a related controversy will be the governor's plan to raise transportation funds by privatizing some aspects of state liquor sales.

NPR

Fresh Air Weekend: Toni Morrison, Ross Macdonald's Crime Fiction, Will Forte

Nobel laureate Morrison reflects on her life and her regrets; Maureen Corrigan reviews a reissue of four of Macdonald's 1950s novels; SNL alum Forte discusses comedy and Bruce Dern's acting advice.
NPR

PepsiCo Swaps Diet Drink's Aspartame For Other Artificial Sweeteners

The company says Diet Pepsi consumers are concerned about aspartame. But the Food and Drug Administration has long affirmed that the sweetener is safe in amounts commonly used by beverage companies.
NPR

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy On Gun Control, Vaccines And Science

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy was officially sworn in this week. His confirmation was held up for more than a year because of comments he made about gun violence. Murthy talks with NPR's Scott Simon.
NPR

As Health Apps Hop On The Apple Watch, Privacy Will Be Key

The notion of receiving nutrition advice from artificial intelligence on your wrist may seem like science fiction. But health developers are betting this kind of behavior will become the norm.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.