Finance

Scandalized Gov. McDonnell Touts Budget Surplus for Virginia

Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell announced Monday that the state finished its fiscal year in June with a significant budget surplus, a ray of good news overshadowed by an intensifying federal investigation into gifts and money provided to the governor and his family by a wealthy political supporter.
August 20, 2013
 

Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell announced Monday that the state finished its fiscal year in June with a significant budget surplus, a ray of good news overshadowed by an intensifying federal investigation into gifts and money provided to the governor and his family by a wealthy political supporter.

At the same moment the term-limited Republican appeared before a meeting of the General Assembly’s joint money committees to announce the $585 million surplus, his attorneys were prepping for a key meeting with federal prosecutors in Alexandria, where they argued that the governor and first lady should not face criminal charges over their relationship with the head of a ­dietary supplement company.

The contrast made for an unusually subdued legislative gathering for a governor at the end of his term delivering healthy financial news about the state.

While McDonnell was given a customary standing ovation upon entering the room, members of the Senate Finance, House Appropriations and House Finance committees, as well as cabinet members and a large crowd gathered in a Capitol Square hearing room, otherwise listened to his address without interrupting for the applause that usually accompanies such speeches.

“We have now achieved surpluses at the end of all four fiscal years of this administration with a cumulative record total of nearly $2 billion,” he said.

The money came from a combination of a $264 million revenue surplus, plus $321 million in savings in state spending. McDonnell also said the state’s rainy-day fund would exceed $1 billion by the end of the two-year budget he will propose in December.

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