Read the Bills Act Coalition

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lt. Governor Bill Bolling participates in Senator Ken Stolle's Legislative Day


Posted by MAXIMUS

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM SENATOR KEN STOLLE

As I reported in last week’s newsletter there was a desire on behalf of the Senate Democratic leadership to move ahead with the Budget despite considerable uncertainties relating to revenue forecasts and the federal stimulus package. It had always been my hope that we would delay a week or two until we had the updated figures from Governor Kaine. As you may recall, Governor Kaine’s proposed budget, which provides for $2.9 Billion in cuts, was based on revenue numbers from over two months ago.

Well, I have good news to report. On Thursday, the Senate came around and agreed with me that we needed to extend the budget process into this week. Agreeing to this delay permits us time to see the latest revenue estimates, to know the final stipulations of the federal stimulus package and to base a budget on these realities.

At present the Budget Bill assumes that Virginia will be out of the recession by July 1, 2009. We all know that this is a false assumption. If the recession continues into the next fiscal year, we would see revenues reduced by at least another $850 Million for just the first quarter alone. Slumping revenues could result in another year with up to a $4 Billion shortfall.

While we all face some of the toughest financial times at home and at work, government is not immune. Today, Governor Kaine is expected to release January’s revenue forecast numbers. The Associated Press reported on Sunday indicated that tax collections for January “fell 15 percent, forcing the worst year-to-date crash in state revenues on record.”

It is not easy for me to continue to share bad news with you in my weekly reports. I do thank everyone who has contacted me with their concerns. We still have two weeks left in the session—so I encourage you to continue to give me your input on the issues that you care about most. You can reach me in Richmond by phone at (804) 698-7508 or by email at info@kenstolle.com.
With warm and personal regards, I remain
Senator Ken Stolle

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