Report: Kaine To Cut Virginia Budget by $1.3B

Official announcement expected Wednesday

Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine will cut the state's cash-strapped budget by about $1.3 billion in an address Wednesday before legislative budget writers, legislators told The Associated Press.

His address at 9:30 a.m. to members of the House and Senate money committees will mark the fourth time since September that the governor has been forced by the worst economy since the 1930s to scale back state spending.

Kaine said earlier this month he would cut at least $700 million or at most $1.5 billion in comments to lawmakers forced by significant month-after-month declines in state tax collections.

Legislators from both parties and from both the House and Senate said Kaine decided after speaking to economists and his board on revenue estimates to make cuts on the higher side, reflecting lingering uncertainty that a recovery is imminent.

The lawmakers and staffers spoke on the condition of anonymity in deference to the fact that the governor had not announced the figure publicly.

Kaine's quarterly briefing to the House Appropriations and Finance committees and the Senate Finance Committee comes as the economy forms a key issue in this fall's gubernatorial and legislative elections. It's also shortly before a special legislative session Kaine called for Wednesday to address a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that prosecutors say is jeopardizing some criminal cases.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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