RICHMOND, VA – Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates William J. Howell (R-Stafford) issued the following statement this afternoon following Governor Bob McDonnell's announcement of the Fiscal Year 2012 surplus figures. Governor McDonnell and the House Republican Caucus remain committed to eliminating unnecessary government spending, maintaining a balanced budget and keeping taxes low. Since taking over the Governor's Mansion in 2010, Governor McDonnell and General Assembly Republicans have returned revenue surpluses each fiscal year. Additional savings from unused agency funds are expected to be announced next month.
"For a third year running, our Caucus has made government reform a key priority with an eye towards reducing costs, eliminating duplicative programs and keeping new spending in check. Together with the Governor, our efforts have produced a surplus of nearly $130 million dollars – the third surplus in as many years," said Howell.
The surplus will likely be adjusted later in the summer to reflect state agency savings. Such excess revenues are, in large part, previously obligated through state budget language addressing allocations of surplus. Though figures are not final, it is expected that the surplus will include an additional $78.6 million allocation to the Rainy Day Fund, $12.3 million to the Water Quality Fund and will support a 3% state employee bonus payable at the end of the calendar year.
"Once again, Virginia has set the standard for responsible budgeting by spending reasonably and posting surplus figures while many other states and the federal government struggle with out of control debt and spending," said Howell. "With the specter of sequestration, the end of the Bush tax cuts and the looming costs of Obamacare soon to come into effect, we are by no means out of the economic woods. Still, with the Rainy Day Fund and General Fund Revenues back to 2008 levels and the Federal Action Contingency Fund created to help buffer the Commonwealth from potential federal tax hikes, Virginia continues to prudently navigate the economic challenges facing modern America."