Northam says strong economy means about $180M is available for state budget

Virginia Politics

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is telling lawmakers that a stronger than expected economy means they will have an extra $180 million to spend when crafting a state budget.

Northam said in a letter to lawmakers Friday that new revenue estimates for fiscal year 2020 shows an expected increase of almost $300 million over previous estimates.

“Our growing economy is a result of our mutual and continued stewardship of taxpayer dollars, and it allows us to fund public education, healthcare, law enforcement, and the other critical services Virginians expect,” Northam wrote. “As you and your colleagues advance your budget deliberations, I urge you to focus on two key priorities: maintaining Virginia’s fiscal integrity and investing in our future.”

By law, about $112 million of that extra money is designated for the state’s reserves. Lawmakers in both the House and Senate are set to unveil their proposed $135 billion two-year state budgets on Sunday.

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