Thursday, September 25, 2008

McDonnell announces immediate budget cut at AG office

In a proactive move in response to significant budgetary difficulties facing the Commonwealth of Virginia, Attorney General Bob McDonnell announced today a general fund budget cut of 9.1% at the Office of the Attorney General. As part of this effort the Attorney General is voluntarily returning his official state car to the Commonwealth of Virginia and reducing his salary.

Speaking about today’s action, Attorney General McDonnell noted, “These are difficult times. This economic downturn, and sustained uncertainty, is forcing Virginia families and businesses to make hard decisions, and Virginia’s government must do likewise. As the Governor determines what budget cuts to order by executive action I have taken this proactive step. Our office has cut our general fund budget by 9.1%, totaling nearly $3.8 million, and increasing our total budget cuts over the past two years to 14.1%. Also, I have returned my official state car, and reduced my salary by 2%.”

McDonnell continued, “With a potential $3 billion shortfall looming these reductions represent a small part of any solution, but as stewards of taxpayers money it is important that we do our part. We have taken prudent but aggressive management actions to streamline operations without affecting service to our clients.”

The total two-year budget of the Office of the Attorney General is $72,044,048, a portion of which is state general funds and subject to these budget cuts by the Attorney General. The remaining amounts are non-general funds and come from other sources, primarily the federal government. Last year McDonnell ordered a voluntary 5% cut in the Office of the Attorney General general fund budget.

The Attorney General is provided a leased 2005 Ford Explorer. The voluntary return of this vehicle will save more than $5,000 over the course of Attorney General McDonnell’s term. Along with Attorney General McDonnell, 10 of his executive attorneys also voluntarily reduced their salaries by 2% for the next six months. This will result in $17,000 in budget savings. Significant savings were also accomplished by, among other steps, establishing a hiring freeze within the office, leaving current vacant positions unfilled, reducing reimbursement rates for travel, and eliminating some fax machines and phone lines.

Cross-posted at

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