Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Counting Corn

Lawmakers in Richmond are signaling significant cuts to public education, Medicaid, and other services in efforts to off-set a $2.5 billion shortfall in the state's $77 billion two-year budget. Governor Kaine and some lawmakers want to spare public education, or hold cuts to a minimum, but others like Lacey Putney (I-Bedford) said 50% of the budget cannot be exempted.
School Boards and superintendents will be watching closely as the Governor and General Assembly look at specific numbers and proposals in December. With 75% to 80% of a typical school division budget committed to personnel costs, finding big savings during the current budget year will demand tough decisions. 
In times of a tight budget, one does wonder why the House of Delegates Appropriations Committee traveled to the Hotel Roanoke for its annual policy retreat. Don't they have meeting rooms in the newly renovated State Capitol? Would meeting there have saved taxpayers a little money? In times like these, every corn kernel counts.

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