Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is preparing for the worst when it comes to the “fiscal cliff” negotiations. In a memo obtained by the Associated Press, McDonnell’s chief of staff asks state agencies to immediately draw up plans to cut their budgets by four percent. The memo was sent out less than two days after President Obama was re-elected.
McDonnell's Chief of Staff, Martin Kent, writes in the memo that the prospect that Congress and the President may not agree on a way to avoid the deep cuts and tax hikes means that the state needs to be ready to trim its own budget. The directors of those agencies have until November 21st to submit their contingencies.
“We ask agencies for spending reduction proposals and strategies every year. This year is no different,” McDonnell spokesman J. Tucker Martin told the Washington Post.
Martin did acknowledge, however, that there is a greater urgency this year.
“This year the importance of this exercise is heightened by the unprecedented fiscal uncertainty presented by the looming federal fiscal cliff, and other budget pressures potentially facing the Commonwealth,” Martin told the Post.