STAUNTON, VA – Delegate Richard P. “Dickie” Bell issued the following statement today regarding the defeat of the 2013-2014 Biennial Budget by the General Assembly.
“I am extremely disappointed that the Senate Democrats have once again put politics over the hard working men and women of the Commonwealth. The budget the conferees agreed to was a structurally balanced budget, and strategically targeted economic development priorities, funds core services without increasing the tax burden of Virginia. It included investments of $110 million in K-12 education, $122 million to help moderate tuition costs in our public colleges and universities, $44.7 million for health and safety services, and provides funding for 305 new Medicaid waivers.
“Without the passage of a biennial budget not only are we threatening some of our most vulnerable citizens by putting all of our state services in jeopardy, but we are also threatening job security for teachers, police officers, and other state and local employees. We are quickly approaching critical budget deadlines for localities and school systems, as well as a number of state agencies. Our local governments and school divisions must base their budgets on the funding that they receive from the Commonwealth, and every day that we delay makes it more difficult for them.”
“With the failure of this budget, we will likely see the Virginia Department of Transportation cease a number of highway construction projects across Virginia as early as May 1.”
“Because of the budget failure today, we will once again have to go back to the drawing board, and we are once again left with uncertainty. I hope that the Senate Democrats will take this into consideration and move forward expeditiously to develop a budget agreement that will be beneficial for all Virginians.”
Elected to the House of Delegates in 2009, Delegate Bell represents the 20th District, which includes Highland County, portions of Augusta and Nelson Counties, and the Cities of Staunton and Waynesboro.