Sunday, March 14, 2010

Schools, VRS, public safety take heavy hits

The first reports about the Virginia General Assembly's budget actions are hitting the media and everything is a bit sketchy. The Senate gave in to the House on a majority of the fee increases so many of the cuts hit bone. Some emerging details:
  • K-12 education will see $646 million less over the next two years meaning teacher/staff layoffs, school closings, and larger classes. Apparently the Senate held tough and prevented the even more drastic cuts proposed by the House of Delegates.
  • As predicted in an earlier post, judges who retire or die will not be replaced. Full dockets. Backlogs. Irate citizens. Justice delayed. Justice denied.
  • Although some of the worst proposals for the Virginia Retirement system were averted, the system takes still another hit. In the past couple of years the state has underfunded the retirement system and now the General Assembly is borrowing $620 million from it. I don't trust them to repay it - do you? What recourse will members have - can we sue the bastards?
  • $1 billion was cut from health programs. Only 250 additional adults with mental disabilities will receive community-based services - the waiting list tops 6,000. A human and a public safety disaster.
  • Funding for sheriff's offices drops by 6%. Expect slower response times, a reduced presence of resource officers in schools, and fewer crime prevention programs.
But rejoice. The rest areas are reopening even as the potholes grow big enough to gobble up a Prius. Maybe the pedal will stick and it will fly over it!


BlueRager said...

With schools, VRS, and public safety bearing the brunt of budget cuts, what's being spared? Who's gettin' the grease?

Anonymous said...

The schools systems are getting the most money so they should take the heavy hits they have grown themselves out of control in the last 10 years its time for them to cut back like everyone else has to.

Anonymous said...

McD got a few new econ development bucks. Task force on internet crimes against children. A few other programs... but really nobody got the grease. there ain't none. can't agree with ignorant comments about schools being out of control. been underfunded for years. on life support now.

Belle Rose said...

Seems like all employees aren't created equal. Local governments and school boards can make employees pay part of VRS--any whole % between 1 and 5 percent. The same isn't true for state employees. Localities can also bail out of group life coverage. more