Gov. McAuliffe announces Virginia faces projected $1.2 billion budget shortfall

Posted at 10:01 AM, Aug 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-26 18:16:04-04

NORFOLK, Va. - The Commonwealth of Virginia faces a projected budget shortfall of $1.2 billion, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced on Friday.

To address the shortfall, the governor says state leaders will pull money that was going to be used for raises for state workers, faculty, teachers, deputies, and other state-supported local employees.

In addition, the state will use money from the Revenue Stabilization Fund, known as the rainy day fund.

The shortfall is tied to lower than projected collections of withholding and sales taxes, the governor said.

Gov. McAuliffe will provide a comprehensive response to lawmakers in December.

"We must prepare ourselves for tough decisions ahead," McAuliffe said.

"It's disappointing to know that our teachers and our students may suffer due to the budget shortfall," said Sidney Neighbours, a teacher in Suffolk and president of the Suffolk Education Association. "When we don't have the proper funding, when we don't have the money for raises then at the end of the day it's our students who suffer."

Neighbors says Suffolk has already pledged to fund the raises itself if needed.

McAuliffe told reporters on Friday during a visit to Virginia Beach that he hopes to bring that raises back. "I desperately wanted to give our teachers and our state employees a pay raise," he said. "It's well deserved. They need that pay raise."