Budget Cuts to Address Revenue Shortfall Affecting Farm Bureau Policy

Governor Elect Terry McAuliffeThe combined shortfall fiscal year 2017 is $861.4 million.  Some of the key strategies to address the shortfall include eliminating raises for state employees of $125.1 million; pulling $392.3 million from Rainy Day Fund; and cutting $70 million from state agencies.  There will be additional cuts made by the Governor in his budget that he will introduce in December for the fiscal year 2018.

They always say that “it could have been worse” but we are still not happy with the cuts that the Governor made to key budget items that Farm Bureau has worked hard to support.  These do not represent all of the cuts made but some key ones specific to Farm Bureau policy:

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

  • ½ of the Wildlife Damage Management Program: -$95,000 (This leaves $95,000 in the program.)
  • ½ Farmland Preservation Fund: -$500,000 (This leaves $500,000 in the Fund.)
  • Delay Hiring of Organic Marketing Specialists: -$68,236
  • Discontinue the Beehive Grant Program: -$175,000
  • International Marketing: -$175,000 (This leaves $250,000 of additional dollars appropriated by the 2016 General Assembly)
  • Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund (AFID): -$220,000 (This leaves out of $2.108 million in AFID.)

Department of Conservation and Recreation

  • Took $528,000 from some of the revenue generated from the ½ fee on recordation tax that was not obligated by the State Soil and Water Conservation Board. This reduces the amount of funds that the State Soil and Water Conservation Board may have allocated to unfunded practices

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