The biggest issue is that revenue collections came in well below what was expected largely due to lagging capital gains tax revenues. The overall shortfall is expected to be about $1.6-$2.0 billion.
What follows below is my initial impressions of what has changed versus Governor McDonnell's introduced budget. Don't kill me if there are a couple mistakes.
Here is the bad:
- No Medicaid Expansion Included in the State Budget
- $199 million of cuts to Higher Education
- $124 million in cuts to K-12 education including 2% pay raise for teachers
- 2% pay raise for state employees is gone
- $142 million of money for healthcare was cut
- $120,000 cut to new staff to help restore voting rights
- $200,000 cut from program to help restore voting rights
- $8 million cut from Housing Trust Fund
- Fairfax County loses its Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Judgeship (there's language in the companion legislation requiring the Supreme Court to recalculate numbers giving consideration to interpreters)
- Motion Picture Opportunity Fund cut only $2.9 million - still over $10 million in spending there
- $240,000 to restore the Judicial Evaluation System - this will allow us to have better information in deciding whether to reappoint judges.
- Requirement for Executive Secretary of Supreme Court to study consolidating Juvenile Court petition filing - legislation I've been working on for five years.
- $11 million to fund Circuit Court judgeships, $5 million to fund General District Court judgeships, and $2 million to fund Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court judgeships or about 36 empty judgeships will be filled
- Fairfax County gets to fill one vacant Circuit Court Judgeship and one vacant General District Court Judgeship (however, this might be taken away by pending retirements)
- Requires Attorney General to file report on expenditures of outside counsel - e.g. lawyers for the Governor and his staff. This was my amendment.
- $1.2 million cut from Opportunity Education Institution - Governor McDonnell's Bobby Jindall Inspired system to remove schools with low test scores from local control
- 50 new ID Waivers and 15 New DD Waivers
- Restores $300,000 for our dues to the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin
- $200,000 new money for CASA - proven program which helps kids in the juvenile criminal system
- $450,000 for the new Ethics Advisory Council
- $20 million cut from the Governor's Opportunity Fund
On top of that, there are rumors circulating around about more conservative members taking issue with the timing of the voting and the language relating to the Medicaid. We will see what happens.