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Governor McAuliffe's budget: Reduce spending, save priorities

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Staff Writer | October 13, 2016
Governor Terry McAuliffe said he wants to balance Virginia’s Fiscal Year 2016-2017 budgets in response to a revenue shortfall.
Virginia   Total general fund revenues rose by 1.7 percent
The Governor’s plan reduces spending while protecting core priorities like education, public safety and health care.

Total general fund revenues rose by 1.7 percent in fiscal year 2016, for a total of $18 billion, but fell short of the official forecast of 3.2 percent growth by $268.9 million. The majority of the shortfall was due to withholding and sales tax collections.

In addition, transfers to the general fund fell $10.4 million short of the forecast. The combined shortfall including general fund revenue and transfers in fiscal year 2016 totaled $279.3 million.

In order to reach the intended budget goal the administration implemented three primary strategies.

First, the state budget contained an automatic trigger based on the revenue forecast that removed $125.1 million for pay increases.

Second, there is a proposal to transfer $392.3 million from the revenue stabilization fund, as permitted by state law. Third, there are pledges from state agencies in 2016 that provide an additional $23.5 million in savings.

The administration also will use $43.3 million in additional unspent fund balances from the end of fiscal year 2016 to help close the shortfall and will reduce operating expenses in the current fiscal year, with exemptions for core services like education, health care, and public safety, resulting in savings of $73 million.