26 May 2009

SWVA Delegation to Richmond, not optimistic

Senators Bill Wampler, Jr. and Phillip Puckett are taking a wait and see attitude as to whether further budget cuts will be needed.


State Sen. William Wampler Jr., R-Bristol, was in Richmond Thursday with the Senate Finance Committee dealing with the latest notch to get bored into the state’s tightening belt.

“I think the most disturbing point is, all revenue trends are worse than what the governor briefed us on during (this year’s session of the Virginia General Assembly),” Wampler said.

“We continue to see a slide in sales tax collections and quarterly income tax estimates.

Well, I think Senator Wampler has understated the situation. He’s in a panic mode without trying to appear in a panic mode. The fact of the matter remains that this “porkulus” package has done little or nothing to ease the fiscal crunch that many are feeling right now. What it has done is expand the scope of federal government intrusion and oversight into matters that are properly left to the state governments. Common sense will tell you if people aren’t spending, sales tax revenues will be below estimates.

Senator Phillip Puckett is taking much the same approach as Senator Wampler:

State Sen. Phillip Puckett, D-Lebanon, said May and June revenue numbers will be crucial to knowing where to go into the new fiscal year that starts July 1.

“These last two months will probably determine if we have to make any serious cuts, and we will probably have to do that before June 30,” Puckett said, in order to balance the budget by the end of the current fiscal year.

We’ll see.

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