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State employees and students respond to governor’s proposed budget cuts

Posted at 7:53 PM, Sep 15, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-16 12:28:09-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Governor Terry McAuliffe (D - Virginia) announced details of a state budget deal that would address the state's anticipated $2.4 billion budget gap.  With a group of Republican leaders by his side, Governor McAuliffe praised the deal as a bipartisan effort.

The agreement cuts tens of millions of dollars in state funding from state agencies, higher education and local governments over the next two years.

  • State agencies - $92.4 million in FY15; $100 million FY16
  • Higher education - $45 million over next two years
  • Localities - $30 million over next two years

Sources previously told CBS 6 the deal would ask state agencies to find 5 percent in cuts by this Friday.  McAuliffe said there would be no cuts to K-12 funding.

At Monday morning's press conference, McAuliffe said he did not know whether the budget cuts will result in a loss of state jobs.  McAuliffe said Virginia lawmakers have to deal with the "reality of what the numbers are."

Virginia state employee Dan Moore is pretty candid about what the state's budget cuts mean for him.

"I guess you could draw parallels between this and the Allen administration," Moore said. "It should be a concern for every citizen."

State workers aren't the only ones who feel uneasy.

"I understand the cuts will impact the agency that I work for," said Jenny Mitchell with Richmond Police.

Mitchell believes the $30 million dollar cut to local governments will adversely impact vital services as the state shifts some of the financial burden to local leaders. She said local governments will have to give back $30 million to the state right now, and that Mitchell says that likely includes RPD.

"I hope for the best for everyone," Mitchell said.

VDOT said that it plans on adjusting some of its programs to deal with budget cuts but stressed that its maintenance budget will not see a decrease in funds.  Those funds are used to fill potholes, remove snow from the roads along with other operations and activities that keeps Virginia's roads maintained and safe.

Payton Baril, a freshman art major at VCU, is also feeling the change.

"I'm in the art program so I'm really worried about that, because that's usually where it starts," Baril said.

Baril says her dean already sent letters out to students bracing them for cuts as universities have been asked to give back $45 million this year.

All of the cuts are expected to be approved by the General Assembly during a special session later this week.