Virginia's budget surplus grows

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell at a press conference

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BILL RADKE: Here's a headline you don't see everyday: State budget surplus grows. The governor of Virginia is expected to announce this morning his state ended its fiscal year with an extra $400 million. That's almost twice the earlier estimate. So what's Virginia got going that most other states don't?

Marketplace's John Dimsdale has that.


JOHN DIMSDALE: Virginia is one of about 10 states that ended the budget year in the black. Scott Pattison, with the National Association of State Budget Officers says many states are beginning to see better than expected tax collections.

SCOTT PATTISON: The problem is we're still looking at state budgets that are in a lot of pain because they're not back to where they were pre-recession.

Virginia got some help from lots of federal government spending in the state, especially for the military. It also aggressively cut spending for schools, health care and transportation. And deferred payments to the state employee pension plan. Pattison says it's going to take a while for most states to recover.

PATTISON: Because of cuts and other things they've had to do, or avoidance of certain things like pensions, they're now going to have to deal with those as times get better.

Virginia's governor will use the windfall to restore some of the cuts in education and roads. But some state lawmakers want to keep the money in case things get rough again.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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