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Virginia Lawmakers Consider $44M In Budget Amendments

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Lawmakers in Richmond worked through the $44 million in amendments submitted by Gov. McDonnell to the Commonwealth's two-year budget plan.
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Lawmakers in Richmond worked through the $44 million in amendments submitted by Gov. McDonnell to the Commonwealth's two-year budget plan.

Virginia lawmakers are in Richmond, working through dozens of changes that Gov. Bob McDonnell is seeking for the new state budget. The proposed amendments include a requirement that legislators contribute to their pensions just like state employees do.

The House of Delegates unanimously rejected a proposal from McDonnell to pay for a 3 percent bonus for state workers with agency savings alone. The $70 million bonus will instead be funded with revenue increases, as well as savings.

Lawmakers have been supportive of the idea of contributing to their own pensions along with a 5 percent pay raise to cover that cost, says Delegate Todd Gilbert. "Some of us were keen on making sure that we were contributing to our own retirement, that was the key," he said. "The governor felt it was right that we be treated exactly the same as other state employees. And so, really it's going to result in a net pay cut for us just because of the way the math works out with taxes and things like that."

A number of lawmakers expressed concerns about some of the projects that would receive funding through the Governor's economic development proposals.

Altogether, the Governor offered nearly $44 million in amendments to the two-year state budget.

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