Budget of Virginia

38% of the General Fund portion of the FY20-22 budget was directed to education
38% of the General Fund portion of the FY20-22 budget was directed to education
Source: Virginia Department of Planning and Budget, Governor Northam's Proposed Amendments to FY 2020 of the 2018-2020 Biennial Budget and the Proposed Biennial Budget for the 2020-2022 Biennium

Two-year budgets are passed by the General Assembly in even-numbered years. The budgets are amended in odd-numbered years with a "caboose bill" to adjust for changes in revenue and priorities. Governors are elected in odd-numbered years, so when they take office the General Assembly is considering a budget prepared by their predecessor. Each governor gets to prepare just one two-year budget that he or she will be able to implement during their term, then prepare a second two-year budget for their successor to implement.

The governor's proposed budget submitted to the 2020 General Assembly was 20% larger than the 2018-20 budget. The budget prepared by Gov. Terry McAuliffe for the 2018-2020 biennium totalled $116 billion.1

A common description of state budgets is that the priorities are to educate, medicate, and incarcerate. State Senator John H. Chichester, president pro tem of the Virginia State Senate, stated in a 2003 speech to the Virginia Foundation for Research and Economic Education:2

Three quarters of our general fund budget rests in education, Medicaid (which provides health and nursing home care to the poor and elderly), and public safety.

In the 2018-19 budget, over $19 million annually was appropriated for the Office of Education and over $17 million for the Office of Health and Human Resources. Virginia's #3 priority was transportation rather than incarceration. The budget included around $8 million that was allocated to the Office of Transportation and just roughly $3 million annually for the Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security.3

The budget bill is always numbered House Bill 30 and Senate Bill 30. The spending proposed for the next two years by the governor has increased steadily:4
2010 - $77 billion
2012 - $86 billion
2014 - $97 billion
2016 - $109 billion
2018 - $116 billion
2020 - $139 billion

Links

References

1. Steve Haner, "A 20% Budget Explosion That May Keep Growing," Bacon's Rebellion, January 7, 2020, https://www.baconsrebellion.com/wp/a-20-budget-explosion-that-may-keep-growing/; "Budget Bill - HB1700 (Chapter 854)," Virginia Legislative Information System, https://budget.lis.virginia.gov/bill/2019/1/HB1700/Chapter/ (last checked January 7, 2020)
2. "State-Federal Relations in the Age of Austerity," The Council of State Governments, July 1, 2012, https://knowledgecenter.csg.org/kc/content/state-federal-relations-age-austerity-0; "Guest Column - John H. Chichester," Bacon's Rebellion, August 11, 2003, https://www.baconsrebellion.com/archive/issues/03/08-11/Chichester_speech.htm (last checked August 24, 2019)
3. "Budget Bill - HB1700 (Chapter 854)," Virginia Legislative Information System, https://budget.lis.virginia.gov/bill/2019/1/HB1700/Chapter/ (last checked August 24, 2019)
4. Steve Haner, "The 20% Growth Claim Is Not Misleading," Bacon's Rebellion blog, January 10, 2020, https://www.baconsrebellion.com/wp/the-20-growth-claim-is-not-misleading/ (last checked January 11, 2020)


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