“The budget shortfalls that Governor Kaine announced today are serious, but they should not surprise anyone. I have been warning for the past two years that the current state budget is based on overly optimistic revenue projections and that huge budget shortfalls would be the result. This is what happens when you base your budget on money you don’t have to make promises you can’t keep.
“For the past four years we have based our budget on overly optimistic revenue projections, the use of one-time revenues to pay for ongoing programs, spiraling amounts of state debt and raids on the rainy day fund. That is not fiscally responsible and we cannot continue to manage Virginia ’s finances this way.
“Unfortunately, the budget shortfalls we are facing in the current fiscal year may only be the beginning of our long term fiscal challenges. We will likely face additional budget shortfalls in the 2010-2012 biennium when the federal stimulus dollars we used to balance the budget last year run out. In fact, those shortfalls could be larger than the shortfalls we are experiencing in the current fiscal year.
“Going forward, we must make certain that our budgets are based on realistic revenue projections, reduce spending to match available revenue and eliminate the budget gimmicks. This will require us to make many difficult choices, but these are the same kind of choices that families and businesses have had to make in recent months, and the people of Virginia expect state government to live by the same economic realities that they must live by.”
On the plus side Kaine will be gone next year, and with the leadership of Bob McDonnell and Bill Bolling Virginia will be under new and better management.