When Republican elected officials try to tell you they’re all about conservative fiscal governance, make sure you remind them of what happened in Richmond today.
Today the conference report was released on the amendments to the biennial budget, and lo and behold, the conference report between the Republican controlled Senate of Virginia and the Republican House of Delegates managed to increase state spending far more than either body had initially envisioned. The compromise additional spending of $750 million beyond last year’s budget and represents a $6.8 million increase over what the Senate proposed, and a $264 million increase over what the House of Delegates passed. Governor McAuliffe’s proposed budget amendments ‘only’ totaled $684 million, the “Republican” legislature increases this to $750 million and calls it a “cut.” Yet this is somehow this is “responsible.”
Speaker Bill Howell loves to talk about fiscal responsibility, even when this utter garbage is patently ridiculous on it’s face.
While Washington drowns in deficits and debt, weighed down by partisan gridlock, Republicans in Richmond are painting a stark contrast. Not only have we produced a balanced budget as our Constitution requires, but we have done so ahead of schedule and with greater transparency than any time in recent memory,” said Speaker Howell. “By adopting these budget amendments today, the General Assembly is charting a prudent fiscal course for the remainder of this budget cycle and demonstrating how governing is supposed to work. I thank Chairman Jones, Vice-Chairman Landes, Leader Cox and the entire House Appropriations Committee for their leadership and hard work to get us here today.
It’s such hard work to compromise on how much taxpayer money you’re going to dole out (in some cases to non-governmental entities in violation of the Virginia Constitution) when you’re supposedly “fiscally responsible.” If “A” wants money in the House, and “B” wants money in the Senate, apparently a “conservative” compromise is to give them both money from the taxpayer.
Let’s see just how many legislators in Richmond have enough guts to vote against the budget amendments because they actually believe in principle.
The numbers don’t lie.
Original Proposed Budget Amendments from Governor McAuliffe: $684,933,761 (General Fund: $103,223,937, Non-General Fund $581,709,824)
HB1400 as passed by House of Delegates: $486,896,416 (General Fund: $379,324,714, Non-General Fund $107,571,702)
HB1400 as passed by Senate: $744,081,727 (General Fund: $422,487,282, Non-General Fund $321,503,445)
HB1400 conference report: $750,919,297 (General Fund: $534,839,701, Non-General Fund $216,079,596)
Gee, we better elect some more Republicans so we can get spending under control in Richmond, right?
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