We have a budget [April 24]

We have a budget [April 24]

State lawmakers reconvened yesterday to take final action for the 2008 General Assembly regular session, passing a two-year, $77 billion budget and giving Governor Tim Kaine the power to appoint his own nominee to the state corporation commission, according to today’s Richmond Times-Dispatch. One of the chief components of that budget is an almost $1.5 billion bond package that will finance 75 construction projects over the next six years, including $110 million to replace Western State, a state psychiatric hospital in Staunton. By getting an appointment to the three-member corporation commission, Kaine can keep the group from being an all-Republican body. But the governor’s efforts to get $500,000 into the budget for a pilot program to subsidize small businesses that provide insurance to low-income workers were shot down. The budget goes into effect July 1.

Governor Tim Kaine will get to make an appointment to the state corporation commission after bickering legislators failed to do so yesterday.

But yesterday doesn’t end the work of the 2008 General Assembly. Kaine promised to call a special session to deal with transportation funding, after last year’s plan was ripped to shreds by the state Supreme Court and outcry over abusive driver fees. The Virginia Department of Transportation has told localities to expect a 44 percent cut in funding for the next six years if lawmakers fail to fill in the gaps.

Previous "This Just In" articles from this week:

“Glocal” food presentation nets concrete ideas [April 23]
Community Food Center in the works

Residents question Hope shelter [April 22]
Edwards: Haven’t talked about homelessness in “comprehensive” way

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