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Virginia Politics
Posted at 02:30 PM ET, 07/19/2011

McDonnell proposes spending surplus on pension system, tornado victims, public safety

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell announced Tuesday afternoon that he is proposing that Virginia spend some of its $311 million surplus on sheriff’s offices, helping victims of the state’s recent tornadoes in Southwest Virginia and to shore up the state’s pension system.

But most of the rest of the money is committed by state law to transportation, the state’s rainy day fund and cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay.

Virginia finished its fiscal year with a surplus of $311 million, its second straight year with a higher-than-expected revenue, even though most other states are still cutting.

Here is the breakdown for what McDonnell will propose to do with the surplus:

* Rainy day fund: $146.6 million

* Water Quality Improvement Fund to clean up Chesapeake Bay: $32.2 million

* Transportation: $23 million

* Interest on Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund due to federal government: $8.9 million

* Tornado relief: $4.3 million

* Base Realignment and Closure obligations: $7.5 million

* Sheriff’s offices: $7.4

* Unknown amount: Shore up the Virginia Retirement System

The General Assembly passed a $78 billion budget for fiscal 2011 and 2012 with no general-tax increase, but which did include several fees and hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts, including to health care, schools and public safety, as it tried to close a $4 billion shortfall.

But by last June, Virginia ended the fiscal year with a surplus of about $404 million.

This year’s surplus comes from tax collections that exceeded their forecasts by nearly millions, but full figures will not be available until McDonnell updates the House and Senate money committees next month.

By  |  02:30 PM ET, 07/19/2011

 
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