At the beginning of the Special Session, Governor Northam introduced a revised budget last month that would protect existing state programs and avoid layoffs, but would cut more than $2 billion in new spending that the General Assembly — controlled by Democrats in both chambers for the first time in more than 20 years — adopted six months ago.
However, this past Tuesday, Virginia lawmakers who were hoping state revenues would rebound quickly received a reality check.
Members of the Senate Finance Committee heard from Finance Secretary Aubrey Layne, who told them estimates of a budget shortfall exceeding two billion dollars appear to be on target.
“I don’t think we’ll see much of this change until we see an actual vaccine,” Layne told members of the committee. “I believe we’ve been saying from the very beginning, that it’s not going to be a government-led recovery.”
Dealing with that budget shortfall is the most important task that remains on the agenda, as lawmakers try to wrap up the special session of the General Assembly. NFIB Virginia will continue to monitor budget discussions to ensure the General Assembly does not exercise the option of raising taxes in efforts to increase revenue. So far, there has been no indication that such an option is being considered.