Virginia Has $545M Surplus

Back-to-back surpluses for Commonwealth

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

    Virginia is ending the 2011 fiscal year with a budget surplus of more than a half billion dollars, Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Thursday.

    McDonnell made the announcement during his annual speech to the joint money committees in the General Assembly. The surplus of nearly $545 million exceeded a previous prediction last month of a $311 million surplus.

    The governor said this is the second year in a row Virginia has ended with a surplus, after last year’s $403 million surplus.

    “While we are all, to a great extent, captive to the same domestic and global economic trends, there are many areas that remain in our control. One of those is how we handle the annual state budget,” the governor said in his remarks.

    McDonnell said another factor helping was the state’s relatively low unemployment level. Virginia has the third-lowest rate east of the Mississippi River and ranks eighth nationwide with a 6 percent unemployment rate.

    “More Virginians are working and spending, and that can be seen in the revenue growth that is responsible for more than one-half of this surplus,” McDonnell said.

    The governor announced that about $133 million of the surplus will go into the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

    The rest of the surplus will be distributed throughout different departments including:

    • Reappropriated General Fund Operation Balances: $84.4 million
    • Transportation Trust Fund: $67.2 million
    • Reappropriated Non-General Fund/Higher Education Balances: $63.6 million
    • Virginia Water Quality Improvement Fund: $50.3 million
    • 'Federal Action Contingency Trust' Fund (FACT Fund): $30 million

    You can find a more detailed list of how the funds will be distributed here.