We learned last week that Virginia ended the fiscal year with a $132 million budget surplus. This is the direct result of the Republican-led General Assembly’s conservative budgeting and responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars. While Washington deals with massive debts and deficits, Virginia has produced five budget surpluses totaling over $2 billion.
Getting to this point wasn’t easy. We faced a $1.5 billion deficit earlier this year. We made tough decisions and adopted conservative budget amendments to keep spending in check and balance our budget. But we were also able to fund the core functions of government like K-12 education and public safety, providing a pay raise to teachers, state police officers and sheriff’s deputies.
Our surplus may be great news, but we also have to be cautious about the future. Virginia’s economy is struggling. We continue to lag behind the national recovery, and many people have traded higher paying jobs for lower paying ones. That means we must continue to be conservative and responsible with our budgeting.
That also means we must continue to remain laser focused on strengthening our economy. It’s becoming clear to me that the McAuliffe/Northam approach to economic development might attract a lot of headlines, but it’s not creating the solid economic growth we need. Over the next few months, I look forward to sharing how Republicans will grow our economy to help Virginia families and businesses.