Monday, February 28, 2011

The Commonwealth's budget exits committee, with, among lots of interesting decisions, lukewarm good news for public broadcasting, and relatively bad new for food banks.

Martha note: This e-mail from State Senator Mark Obenshain was in my in-box this Monday morning. And I thought it might interest you.
Greetings!  I don't like to send out emails quite this often, but since yesterday's email, we've received the conference report on the budget and will be voting on it later today. Since searching the two hundred page conference report for noteworthy amendments is probably not on your to-do list, my office has prepared a two-page summary that may be of interest.... feel free to share your thoughts with me!
   With best regards,
   Mark D. Obenshain
Note: This is an unofficial working document from the office of Senator Mark Obenshain, prepared in advance of the vote on the conference report on the budget. Although we strive to represent budget actions as accurately and completely as possible within the confines of a two-page summary document, the conference report should be consulted where an authoritative account is required.
K-12 Education
  • Overall, provides $75.6M in additional K-12 funding
  • Includes $87.8M increase for school operating costs (Item 132 #6c)
  • Maintains hold harmless provisions for composite index (Item 132 #3c)
  • Contains a $5.9M decrease in textbook funding (Item 132 #3c) 
  • Backs out allocation for increased state share of funding for teacher retirement contribution 
  • for savings of $22.3M as part of the larger 5-for-5 plan (Items 132 #2c and #5c) 
 Higher Education
  • Distributes the $50M the introduced budget sought to provide in competitive grants to base 
  • operating support, STEM funding, and financial assistance
  • [Local note] For JMU, provides an additional $3.2M in STEM funding (Item 161 #1c), 
  • $1.1M in TJ21 monies (#2c), $0.9M in CISCO Partnership funding (#4c), $0.5M in base 
  • operating support (#5c), and $0.4M in financial assistance (Item 162 #2c), and provides 
  • $4.7M debt authority for Centennial Hall (Item C-85 #1c)
 Health and Human Services
  • Takes the House position of 375 ID at $14.4M plus federal match (Item 297 #12c) and 150 
  • DD waivers ($2.2M plus federal match at Item 297 #16c)
  • Restores Medicaid respite hours with $13.4M plus federal match (Item 297 #14c) 
  • Provides $50.6M plus federal match to restore Medicaid reimbursement rate (Item 297 
  • #13c)
  • Restores $1.9M plus match for prescription reimbursement levels (item 297 #24c)
  • Adds $30M to the Behavioral Trust Fund (Item 305 #3c)
  • Appropriates $20M NGF (federal funds) for Medicaid electronic health records incentive 
  • program (Item 295.1 #1c)
 Public Safety & Judiciary
  • Restores $6M for sheriffs, divided between Financial Assistance for Local law 
  • Enforcement and Financial Assistance for Court Services (Item 67.20 #1c) 
  • Provides $12.4M in HB 599 funding for localities with police departments (Item 386 #1c)
  • Fills many judicial vacancies at cost of $3M (Item 52 #2c) 
  • Adds $3M for trooper overtime pay (Item 408 #1c)
  • Restores $0.3M for foresters and firefighters (Item 93 #1c)
  • Language extends deadline for localities to opt out of Line of Duty Program, as they will 
  • continue to be required to contribute to the support of the program (Item 258 #1c) 
  • Cuts $10.1M proposed for the Sexually Violent Predators program (Item 319 #1c)
  •  Eliminates bonding authority of $7.3M for a new SVP facility 
  • Includes budget language conforming to 2010 clerks office funding changes (Item 248 #1c) 
 Economic Development & Conservation
  • Reduces proposed Research Commercialization Fund from $25M to $10M (Item 96 #2c) 
  • Reduces additional funding for Motion Picture Opportunity Fund from $1.5M to $0.5M 
  • (Item 96 #3c)
  • Adds $2.5M for the Enterprise Zone Program (Item 101 #1c)
  • Removes all Wet-Lab funding (Item 114 #3c) 
  • Eliminates a proposal to provide $7.5M to purchase properties around the Oceana Master 
  • Jet Base (item 96 #1c)
  • Provides $1M additional funding for Soil and Water Conservation Districts (Item 351 #2c)
  • Restores $1.2M for state park funding (Item 352 #2c) 
  •  Eliminates $1M for the Land Conservation Fund (Item 352 #3c) while restoring $0.7M in 
  • Purchase of Development Rights funding for farmland preservation (Item 84 #5c)
  • Local Governments & Social Services
  • Restores $5M for CSA services to non-mandated children (Item 274 #1c)
  • Provides $7.5M to restore funding for therapeutic foster care services through CSA (Item 274 #4c)
  • Reduces to $2M a proposed $4M for local crisis stabilization services (Item 305 #1c) 
 Government & Central Accounts
  • Adopts 5-for-5 plan, with associated costs of $40.1M for pay raises (Items 469 #1c and 
  • plus $15.1M to cover additional associated taxes to hold employees harmless with 
  • change (Item 469 #6c)
  • Embraces House proposal for VRS repayments, adding $41.7M to eliminate one quarter of 
  • the deferral (Item 469 #5c)
  • Reduces GF capitalization of Transportation Infrastructure Bank from proposed $150M to 
  • $32.7M (Item 452 #2c)
  • Raises threshold for vendors subjected to Accelerated Sales Tax from $1M to $5.4M, 
  • eliminating 80% (leaving 1,736 retailers in program), with one-time revenue loss of an 
  • estimated $45.7M (Item 3-5.08 #1c)
  •  Adopts House's $64M added contribution to Revenue Stabilization Fund (Item 256 #1c)
  • Saves $10.5M with an executive branch hiring freeze (Item 469 #3c)
  • Reverts the VDH food establishment fees to their lower FY08 levels at loss of $4.3M (Item 
  • 287 #2c), while eliminating the other tax and fee increases in the Senate budget 
  •  Requests the Liaison Office to seek a continued deferment of interest payments on our 
  • Federal Unemployment Account debt; if unsuccessful, Virginia will face an unbudgeted 
  • $11.9M in interest payments (Item 115 #1c)
  • Eliminates Senate budget's bonding authority for Capitol Complex improvements 
  • Contains $67M less in overall debt authorization than did the Governor's budget
  • Removes all direct funding for private non-profits like OpSail, food banks, etc.
  • Restores 90% of funding for public broadcasting (Item 123 #1c)
  • Provides $0.2M additional monies for the Capitol Guides program.

Note from WMRA:  Although 90% of public broadcasting funding was restored, it appears that the Instructional Television Service was the beneficiary of that action, and that the Community Service Grants (operating funds) for public radio and public television may still have been reduced by the originally-proposed 50%.  We are seeking clarification and will update this blog post when we get that.

1 comment:

  1. This just in: General Assembly approves budget and adjourns