The Opening Budget Skirmish of Fiscal 2007-2008

The public got the first inklings of Gov. Mark R. Warner’s budget proposals for the next biennium when disagreements with the House of Delegates erupted in the form of a press release from Speaker William J. Howell and House Appropriations Chairman Vincent F. Callahan.

In the statement, released late Tuesday afternoon, Howell and Callahan blasted the Warner administration for “eliminating $290 million in dedicated transportation funding and eliminating another $100 million for water quality improvements” in the 2006-08 state budget that the Governor is preparing.

The Governor has not at this time issued a release of his own, and I’m in no position to evaluate what’s going on here. But House leaders are clearly upset by proposals to sweep away their signature contributions to the current (fiscal 2006) budget. Read the press release.

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  1. Anonymous Avatar

    This is way early in the game and game is the appropriate word when the budget is involved. The governor will actually introduce his budget bill in late December and it is likely to look very different. And of course this is the budget he can leave on the table and walk away from.

    I didn’t hear the presentation, but if the Governor does not dedicate the insurance premium money to transportation, or if he does not use GF in some other way to repay the debt created to cover the diversion of sales tax revenue in 2002, then the Speaker will be leading quite a chorus. Another group will form to shout about the Chesapeake Bay money.

    But some of what the 2006 budget spent on transportation was clearly one-time money, excess cash that nobody promised would be dedicated year after year. Nobody should be surprised if the governor’s attitude is, if some future Governor wants to spend GF on transportation, let HIM make the funding choices required and let HIM wrestle with Senate Finance.

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