Update - April 7, 2016
For those interested in seeing exactly where the money in the introduced budget goes please see below.
For complete details on the budget, please visit the state budget website here.
March 10, 2016
Senate and House Budget conferees reached agreement on the biennium budget with a major infusion of funding for public education and higher education. This will help ensure the pipeline of workers for the jobs of the future. Our teachers and government employees will receive the pay raises they earned in their service to the Commonwealth. Additionally, undergraduate financial aid is earmarked at $48 million, which should help student accessibility and keep those degrees affordable. An additional $12.5 million is also included for the New Economy Workforce Credentialing Program.
Strategic economic development investments are embedded to grow and diversify the economy. In order to keep Virginia competitive globally, workforce development is a priority for this spending plan. Research and Development funds will infuse Virginia’s leading edge industries. Funding ($35 Million) for GO Virginia jumpstarts a regional collaborative approach to economic growth.
Sheriffs and State Police will receive raises to incentivize retention of these trained men and women standing on the line for us. Salary compression for senior employees has been addressed with a yearly adjustment. Some $400,000 has been included for background checks at gun shows.
While not the panacea for the growing needs of access to healthcare, eligibility for GAP programs has been raised to 80% of the federal poverty level. To ensure our hospital viability, $16 million has been dedicated.
This budget is sound, responsible and complements the work of the General Assembly these past 60 days. It is a structurally balanced document that deposits $605 Million into the rainy day fund.