Raises for teachers and state employees have been removed from the budget documents legislative staffers were working to finalize Wednesday evening. So, too, were reimbursement increases for hospitals, which were meant to keep up with inflation.
Those increases, initially placed in the budget by House Republicans, were part of the House's answer to
With poor revenue projections stacking up, that help is gone for hospitals, though some of the increases for nursing homes has survived.
Gone, too, is the big increase the House had proposed for free health clinics. Most of the new funding earmarked for the state's mental health system remains intact, though, House budget writers said Wednesday.
Funding to fill longstanding judge vacancies in the courts system has also survived. House budget writers said there will be 35 to 45 new judges, between filled vacancies and new slots.
Building projects on college and university campuses will also survive, it appears.
The university system won't get the extra operating money it was once expecting, but because they also won't have to account for raises initially included in the coming budget cycle, they probably won't need to raise tuition beyond already approved increases,
Basically, state departments, colleges, universities and local governments will get the same state funding next year under this budget plan that they got this year. The main exception: public schools will see an increase, largely meant to cover enrollment growth.
The rest of the new spending in the state's two year budget is essentially gone. That includes the
The changes come on the heels of another poor revenue report for the state. May figures were down across the board. They signal a definite shortfall for this year, and a likely one for the coming budget years.
There are still major tax payments due in June -- sales taxes are due on the 20th, and large corporations will make payments mid-month. But it won't be enough to drag state revenues back to where they were predicted to be, McAuliffe Finance Secretary
The picture for fiscal years 2015 and 2016 is harder to predict, and will be revisited in the coming months. The
Taken together, that shortfall could be as much as
"The list is very long," House Appropriations Chairman
After months of stalemate, the bad budget news seems to have forced the hand of legislators who had hoped to use the budget as leverage to win a major expansion of
Barring a spectacular change, that plan has failed. The pressure to pass a budget, and Democratic state Sen.
There was also an important technicality to overcome: the state has a rainy day fund it can tap to avoid the harshest cuts, but because of the fund's rules, that money's only available if the state has a budget in place by
The new budget is likely to pass tomorrow night and head to Gov.
He'll have seven days to suggest changes, but those would have to be approved by the
The governor's press office said Wednesday that McAuliffe will review the budget and have his say after it hits his desk. After months of tough talk on
McAuliffe and Senate Democrats had hoped to see
Instead, House Republicans said they will honor an oft-repeated promise to discuss expansion in a second special session, or during this session, so long as it's after the budget is final.
Senate Democratic leaders, who had girded themselves to take the budget fight past the
It was unclear how they'd vote on the budget plan, but Republicans appear to have the support they need to move the budget through that chamber regardless.
Expansion efforts center now on state Sen.
He said Tuesday evening that he's "trying to finesse" some of the proposals he made late last month in an effort to get a deal with House Republicans. Among other things, it would "clarify the rules of engagement" on the
Hanger also hopes to weaken the House's ability to continue to block expansion through the MIRC's voting process, but that may be a deal breaker for House Republicans.
"Probably a sticking point for most of our caucus," Del.
Fain can be reached by phone at 757-525-1759.
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