STAUNTON, VA – Delegate Richard P. “Dickie” Bell (R-Staunton) today issued the following statement in response to Governor Bob McDonnell's announcement of FY 2012 surplus including agency savings:
“Just last month Governor McDonnell announced $129. million in FY 2012 surplus revenues. Earlier today, in a joint meeting of the House Appropriations and Finance Committees and the Senate Finance Committee, he announced an additional $319.3 million in agency savings. This brings us to a total FY 2012 surplus of $448.5 million. This is the third straight year that the Commonwealth has produced a budget surplus. Just three years ago, our Commonwealth was in dire fiscal distress, facing a budget shortfall of nearly $6 billion. We have gone from that shortfall in 2010 to nearly 1.4 billion in surpluses and budget savings over the past three years, all without a tax increase. This is an incredible accomplishment. These continued surpluses are great news for Virginia, and one of many reasons that Virginia continues to be one of the best states to do business.” said Delegate Bell.
“Though this budget surplus brings with it many benefits, perhaps one of the most significant items that we will be able to address is a 3 percent performance based bonus to state employees on December 1. Because our state employees were able to work together and use their innovation to be frugal, while not sacrificing service, they achieved the cost savings necessary to fund this bonus. Our state employees have once again risen to the occasion and made this possible for themselves.”
“In addition to the one time state employee bonus, the Appropriations Act and the Virginia Constitution, and the Code of Virginia determines how this surplus must be allocated. An additional 78.3 million will be set aside for deposit to the Revenue Stabilization fund bringing the Rainy Day Fund balance to $689 million. Another $30 million will go to the Federal Action Contingency Trust Fund. We will be able to return $132.3 million to higher education and non general fund accounts, 16.9 million to the Virginia Water Quality Fund, $20.9 million to the Transportation Trust Fund, and finally $17.2 million will be set aside to cover our obligations resulting from the natural disasters occurring over the course of FY 2012.
“Though Virginia is faring better than many other states in our nation, the economy is still very uncertain. Many Virginians are still struggling to live within their means, and having to make extremely tough choices. When they have to face the challenge of balancing their books, they should be able to expect this from the Government as well. And fortunately over the past three years they have been able to see this from Governor McDonnell. He has spent the last three years working to produce not only a balanced the budget, which is a constitutional requirement, but budgets that have produced three consecutive surpluses. Virginians want to see this type of responsibility in Government, and this is what they deserve.”
Elected to the House of Delegates in 2009, Delegate Bell is now serving his 2nd term. He represents parts Nelson and Augusta Counties, Highland County, and the Cities of Staunton and Waynesboro.
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