Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said Thursday that he expects Virginia to finish the fiscal year at the end of June with a budget surplus, a sign of the state’s economic recovery and — he will argue — his own steady stewardship of state finances.
Speaking during his monthly appearance on WRVA’s “Ask the Governor” program from Richmond, McDonnell (R) said Virginia would end the year with money in the bank, as it did last year.
The state is required by law to maintain a balanced budget, meaning McDonnell would have to impose budget cuts to achieve a surplus if projections indicated that tax revenue was lower than predicted. But monthly reports have instead been showing tax collections somewhat above projections.
Even so, McDonnell did a series of national television interviews about last year’s budget surplus, using it as a sign of the state’s fiscal health, and it’s likely he'll do the same this year after final budget numbers are released, probably in July.
“The top issues that dominate my time are increasing jobs in Virginia and fiscally managing our state well so that we’ve got the resources to invest into higher education, transportation — things that people want,” he said on the radio Thursday.
Democrats note that the surpluses have been the result, in part, of billions in deep cuts to services and, last year, a decision by McDonnell and the General Assembly to borrow more than $600 million from the state’s pension fund to close a projected budget shortfall.