McAuliffe announces state budget cuts, says more may come

Governor McAuliffe announces plan to balance state budget. Oct. 13, 2016 (Photo courtesy Governor McAuliffe's Office)
Governor McAuliffe announces plan to balance state budget. Oct. 13, 2016 (Photo courtesy Governor McAuliffe's Office)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP/WAVY) – Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is announcing a series of budget measures that includes canceling pay raises, trimming the state’s payroll, and using the state’s rainy day fund.

McAuliffe announced the measures Thursday at the Capitol, adding that he’d had to make difficult decisions and there may me more to come.

“There will be no program cuts to public education, Medicaid for our families most in need, nor our core public safety services. We did not kick our budget problems to local governments by reducing payments to cities, counties or towns. These are obviously difficult decisions to make and there may be more to come, but I am confident that the progress and investments we are making today will put Virginia on course for strong growth well into the future,” said McAuliffe.

The state is facing a potential $1.5 billion budget shortfall due to lower-than-expected income and sales tax collections. To address the shortfall, McAuliffe is making cuts throughout state government, including delaying grant payments and new hires and eliminating 26 current positions.

McAuliffe, a Democrat, has also indicated he’ll try to convince the GOP-led General Assembly to approve expanding Medicaid, which he said would help alleviate budget problems. Republicans are unlikely to approve such a proposal.

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