(Photo Courtesy of Michaele White, Governor’s Photographer)
Remarks of Governor Bob McDonnell to the Joint Meeting of the Senate Finance, House Appropriations and House Finance Committees....
Chairman Colgan, Chairman Putney, Chairman Purkey, members of the General Assembly money committees, ladies and gentlemen: good morning. It's like you never left.
On behalf of a grateful Commonwealth, I want to thank you for your ongoing work to ensure that our state remains a national model of fiscal responsibility. Thanks for working with me the past year to navigate our state through the most turbulent economic times in modern history.
While the federal government racks up record deficits and debt, and can't even pass a budget, and numerous states are raising taxes, placing new mandates upon the private sector, and failing to appropriately address their serious challenges, Virginia has taken a different approach.
We faced a $1.8 billion shortfall last session in the concluding FY 2010 budget.
Through conservative revenue re-forecasting, the implementation of a strict hiring freeze, incentivizing state employees to save taxpayer dollars, holding the line on discretionary spending, and a slight uptick in our tax revenues, we turned that shortfall into a $403 million surplus. More importantly, Virginia was able to close the fiscal year with a positive general fund cash balance, which was a marked improvement over the fiscal year 2009 shortfall.
We then confronted a $4.2 billion shortfall in the current FY 11/12 budget.
We rejected proposals to levy the largest tax increase in history on our citizens, and we made the difficult, but necessary, cuts that reduced state spending to 2006 levels. Our state employees have managed well and provided good service with fewer resources.
As I said in my speech to you in August, this fiscal turnaround and budgetary success was achieved by two Administrations, two houses of the General Assembly, and two political parties. Thank you.
Now it will take both parties working together, to ensure that our citizens can work at good paying and rewarding jobs.
Read the remainder of Governor Bob McDonnell's remarks here.