Sunday, November 18, 2007

Kaine: "Lean Budget" in '08, State Economy Still Relatively Strong

In an interview with The New Dominion, Governor Tim Kaine discussed the next two-year budget.

“I do think at least the first year of the next two-year budget is going to be a pretty lean budget. But there’s initiatives that we need to do to improve quality of life, and we’ll find ways by economizing in other areas to do the initiatives that matter,” stated Governor Kaine.

While I'm glad that he is at least looking to trim down the fat first, I would like to see if he will prove to be more prudent and fiscally conservative than his predecessor, Mark Warner, who went so far as to raise taxes on a budget surplus. If Kaine can manage to overcome the revenue shortfall by being smart with the revenue that the state is bringing in, and not raising taxes, he will definitely win a few points with Virginia citizens.

However, relatively speaking, things aren't that bad according to Kaine.

Later in the interview, the Governor assured Virginians of the strength of the state's economy, “The Virginia economy is very strong relative to other state’s economies. We’re trying to deal right now with a $640 million revenue shortfall. Just across the Potomac in Maryland, they’re dealing with a $1.7 billion shortfall, and their budget is smaller than ours - that is a huge percentage of their budget. And many states are in that same position. So I think we’re relatively fortunate. We have an economy that’s quite strong relative to other states - but national trends affect us just like they do anyone”

I would agree with that statement, our state's economy does not seem to be in any kind of iminent danger at this point. I will be interested to see how this year's budget shapes up.

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