V.P. of Governmental Relations
The General Assembly working in conjunction with the Governor passed an amendment to the June 23, 2014 budget this week. This amendment is reflective of a widening shortfall in revenues that the original budget was based on. In June, the General Assembly adjusted revenue forecast somewhat and called for an official reforecast of the revenues. This reforecast utilizing actual taxes paid as opposed to estimations revealed an even greater shortfall of anticipated revenue. The total shortfall from the June budget and the reforecast equals $2.4 billion for the biennium. While we still do not know the full impact off all of the cuts, here is what we do know:
- Virginia Cooperative Extension was spared from cuts during this process.
- The Ag BMP Cost Share Program had $1 million removed from the current fiscal year leaving ($24 million available) and $1 million removed for FY16 ($6.6 million available). The Governor and the General Assembly will likely tap into a reserve fund during the 2015 General Assembly to add additional dollars to the program.
Most state agencies will face an overall 4% reduction with some programs receiving more than 4% and some less. The General Assembly did not direct those specific cuts but gave the Governor the latitude to determine how those cuts would impact various state agencies. We are waiting to hear from the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry on the degree cuts to programs and services at VDACS and VDOF.
The advisory groups determining the revenue projections will be meet in late November to determine what projections the Governor will propose in his revisions to these budget in December prior to the 2015 General Assembly.