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Virginia Residents To Have Their Say On State Budget On Friday

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When the Virginia General Assembly convenes next week, legislators will be debating how to spend state money in the next two years. Starting tomorrow, residents will have a chance to add their opinions to the mix.

Virginia's Senate Finance and House Appropriations Committees will hold public hearings around the commonwealth tomorrow. Residents can weigh in on the two-year, $95.9 billion spending plan submitted by Gov. Bob McDonnell.

His proposal is $10 billion dollars larger than the last budget — and does not call for any tax increases. It includes additional funding for education, foster care, public safety and Medicaid, which was a key issue in last year's gubernatorial race.

McDonnell's budget also includes $38 million dollars in additional funding for mental health services, which became a focus following the suicide of Gus Deeds, the son of State Senator Creigh Deeds.

The hearing for Northern Virginia is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. tomorrow in the Fairfax County Government Center. Speakers are limited to three minutes each and are required to register at the hearing site no earlier than an hour in advance.

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