The Washington Post

McDonnell lays out $96 billion budget proposal

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) (Steve Helber/AP)

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) laid out a two-year, $96 billion budget proposal Monday, the last significant policy proposal of his four-year term. The Post‘s Laura Vozzella takes a look at the details:

The spending plan is $10 billion larger than the current biennial budget, with much of that added spending directed to Medicaid, K-12 education, the state’s contingency fund, and state employee retirement and insurance programs.

It provides $300 million to the so-called rainy-day fund, $583 million new K-12 funding, and a $183 million boost in funding for state colleges and universities. The plan provides a 3 percent, one-time bonus for state employees and a 2 percent raise for state workers in jobs that are prone to high turnover, such as certain court clerks and university housekeeping staff.

He rolled $600 million from the current budget into the new one and found $261 million in “targeted savings” in other areas of state spending. He proposed saving $21 million by cutting “cost of competing” funds for school support staff; the money is used to help schools attract employees in high-dollar job markets such as Northern Virginia. He did not propose eliminating those salary adjustments for teachers.

The governor proposed adding $38 million to improve how the state serves people experiencing mental health crises. That idea emerged from a task force McDonnell appointed after last year’s Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn. It took on greater urgency recently, after the son of state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) stabbed the senator and fatally shot himself.

See the rest of the details here.

Reid Wilson covers national politics and Congress for The Washington Post. He is the author of Read In, The Post’s morning tip sheet on politics.

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