Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Cutting the Budget - McDonnell Style
The K-12 reductions would loosen the state's basic educational standards while reducing funds for support staff, supplemental salaries for coaches and teachers who serve as club sponsors, and health insurance for teachers.
The health cuts would reduce mental-health treatment beds by 232, take 5 percent in funds from community service boards that offer substance abuse and mental health treatment programs, and freeze enrollment for a program that provides insurance to low-income children.
The governor is also recommending millions of dollars in trims to public libraries, shuttering some state parks and phasing out all public broadcasting support over four years.
McDonnell has refused for weeks to release his proposals publicly, despite repeated requests from lawmakers and advocates. Instead, he and his staff members have been sharing recommendations with small groups of legislators for weeks behind closed doors -- a departure from the way governors have conveyed their budget priorities in Virginia for decades.