Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: email@example.com
Most of the discussion of Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine as a running mate for Barack Obama centered on whether Kaine had enough experience. The bigger problem with the Virginia governor, however, was the looming fiscal crisis in his state, which (not necessarily due to any fault of his own) threatens his popularity back home.
The news today makes me believe that Obama dodged a bullet. From the Washington Post :
RICHMOND, Oct. 9 -- Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) announced today he is laying off nearly 600 state workers, closing some correctional facilities and cutting funding for higher education by about 6 percent to help close a budget shortfall.
These actions are just the first steps in what could be a months-long process to eliminate a $2.5 billion shortfall in the state's two-year, 2009-2010 budget.
Sounding somber but expressing optimism that Virginia's economy will eventually rebound, Kaine also announced that he is delaying a planned 2 percent pay raise for state employees until next year, transferring $400 million from the state's reserve fund and drawing up plans for even deeper budget cuts in the weeks ahead.
That isn't the type of announcement you can make in front of partisan crowd in Columbus, Ohio.
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