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Virginia will spend surplus on state employee bonus, roads, bay cleanup


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Washington Post:

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell ® announced Thursday that Virginia will spend its budget surplus on a bonus for state employees, cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay, transportation and education.

McDonnell told legislators the state will spend $82.2 million on a 3 percent bonus for state employees, $18.7 million for education, $48 million for roads and $36.4 million for Virginia's Water Quality Improvement Fund, which is used for the Chesapeake Bay cleanup. State employees have not received a raise since November 2007.

Other money will be spent on previous obligated accounts, such as the rainy day fund.
McDonnell has until December to recommend to spend a remaining $71.2 million.

Virginia ended the fiscal year with a surplus of about $403.5 million -- almost twice the previous estimate, state officials said earlier this week.

About $228 million was generated through tax collections, and the rest through state agencies' unspent balances. Most of the money from tax collections -- $220 million -- was announced in July. But the unspent balances were unexpected.

McDonnell made his announcement in his annual speech to the House Appropriations and Senate Finance committees -- one of his three major speeches to the General Assembly. In past years, former Democratic governor Tim Kaine's annual speeches have centered on budget cuts.

Several legislators had encouraged McDonnell to repeal accounting maneuvers used when legislators wrote the budget in the spring -- accelerating sales tax payments by businesses and delaying payments to the Virginia Retirement System. :snip:

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It is not just Dem's who want to spend, spend , spend. They have a surplus, reduce taxes next year with it. 3% BONUS for all state employees??? Probably not based on merit. Just "here have some of this free money we have sitting around".
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