McDonnell Touts Virginia's Budget Surplus | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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McDonnell Touts Virginia's Budget Surplus

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Virginia's Gov. Bob McDonnell is touting a budget surplus of more than $448 million for the last fiscal year, but Democrats are saying the savings come at the cost of education and other services.

Most of the money is already spoken for. McDonnell explained state employees will receive a one-time, 3 percent bonus made possible by agency efficiencies, and $78.3 million will go into the rainy day fund.

"This is the highest balance we've had in the rainy day fund since 2008, and the fifth highest rainy day fund balance on record," he says.

Another $132 million will be returned to higher education. But Democratic Sen. Dick Saslaw questions how much of a surplus there really is, especially since colleges and universities saved the $132 million due to cost-cutting measures imposed upon them.

Saslaw and other Democrats argue that only $41.8 million is discretionary revenue, which does not cover the costs of previously raiding the state pension fund or paying for transportation and education.

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