On Thursday October 16, the Senate Finance Committee met and heard two presentations regarding Virginia’s current budget. First, Secretary of Finance, Ric Brown, shared the full details of the September revenue report. While he expressed caution September’s revenues were strong, showing a 5.3% increase from FY14. On a year-to-date basis, total revenues increased 6.7%, ahead of the revised annual forecast of 2.9%. The original annual forecast was set at 5.4%.
Historically YTD revenues through September represent 23.2% of the fiscal year’s total revenues. Secretary Brown indicated that while these numbers are good, we still have a long way to go when it comes to revenue collections. In relation to the current forecast, YTD revenues for FY15 account for 23.5% of the total revenues, slightly ahead of the historical average.
Next, Department of Planning and Budget Director, Daniel Timberlake, shared the details of Governor McAuliffe’s proposed actions to address the current revenue shortfall in FY15, a total of $345.5 million. Announced yesterday, the top ten agencies account for 74% of the total spending reductions of $92.4 million. Toping the list are the Department of Corrections and the State Police. Included in the reductions are 565 layoffs, 90% of which are in the Department of Corrections. Higher education is required to cut $45 million a year and local governments must cut $30 million a year.
The Department of Alcohol Beverage Control has been asked to generate additional revenue of $2.5 million, likely through a mark-up of state liquor sales. Entirely spared from cuts, K-12 education.
We will continue to update you as things develop.