Pass the Buck Bob's cold-hearted budget cuts
January 30, 2012
The Commonwealth Institute reveals, "In his proposed budget, Governor McDonnell gets nearly 60 percent of his budget cuts from services and programs that serve low-income Virginians, a dramatic departure from bipartisan efforts on Virginia's budget in recent years." The Virginian-Pilot also reports that McDonnell's budget cuts would also severely cut funding for senior agencies.
Progressive Point: Governor McDonnell targeting low-income Virginians with 60% of his proposed budget cuts is immoral and detrimental to our communities--at a time when so many are already struggling. Virginia's strength comes from valuing the contributions of all our citizens, not marginalizing those who are most vulnerable.
The numbers show that cutting programs that support low-income Virginians will actually increase poverty and hurt our economy. Eliminating support for our seniors, after they've spent their lives contributing to our communities, should not even be an option. Our fellow Virginians deserve better than Pass the Buck Bob's coldhearted budget slashing, and our Governor needs to see that he is hurting real people he is supposed to be serving.
Get the Facts:
- The Commonwealth Institute reports:
- Cuts to programs serving low-income Virginians make up 59 percent of all the cuts contained in the Governor's proposed budget, despite accounting for just 27 percent of the budget. Prior years' budgets, however, got only 12 percent of their cuts from programs that serve low-income Virginians.
- During the recession, programs that serve low-income Virginians were relatively protected in the state's budget balancing strategies. For example, since the beginning of Virginia's budget shortfalls in 2007 and through the current fiscal year (FY2012), programs serving low-income Virginians were cut by 11 percent, whereas cuts to all other programs funded by the general fund were cut by 22 percent.
- By contrast, the Governor's proposal cuts the total general fund budget by 3 percent, yet cuts programs serving low-income Virginians by more than twice that - 7 percent.
The Governor's budget proposal cuts crucial services across a wide array of areas including:
- $633.8 million in cuts to health care for low-income children, pregnant women, elderly, and disabled Virginians
- $62.2 million in cuts to services for at-risk youth and families
- $12.5 million in cuts to local social services offices
- $7.9 million in cuts to self-sufficiency programs for needy families
- $2.4 million in cuts to individual care services for elderly Virginians
- $1.2 million in cuts to general and emergency relief for low-income Virginians
- $587,740 in cuts to nutritional services for elderly Virginians
- Governor McDonnell's budget seeks to eliminate appropriations for non-state agencies, many of which serve Virginia's seniors. For example, it would half state funding for the Primeplus Norfolk Senior Center "and two other local agencies for the 2012 fiscal year," and then "eliminate funding for the 2013 fiscal year." (The Virginian-Pilot, January 29, 2012)