Over the past 30 years, the state budget increasingly has become omnibus legislation, a means not just to direct spending — $91.9 billion in the current, two-year fiscal cycle — but to set policy, some of it monumental; some of it mundane. It’s a sign that Virginia’s political class, for all its complaints about the way Washington does business, isn’t above adopting some of its tricks.
But not just anyone in Richmond gets to engage in such gamesmanship.
Budget clarity, parking spaces, and the Major Economic Investment Commission all fall under scrutity. To wit:
However, the Major Economic Investment Commission, with four delegates and four senators, has complained it hasn’t sufficient time to vet incentive packages. On one occasion, officials said, members were rankled when told by the state economic-development agency they had only a half-hour to consider a deal targeting an Asian manufacturer.
A House amendment would require that the Virginia Economic Development Partnership submit proposals at least two days ahead of a commission meeting.
Virginia’s biennial budget is often a convoluted and odd process — moreso for those directly affected by that process (read: localities and local education) than others.
Still… it wasn’t so long ago that the Virginia budget was $70 billion. Or in recent memory, $35 billion.
$91.9 billion divided by 8.1 million Virginians comes to north of $11,000 per Virginian.
Tack on another $1,500 in local taxes and ask yourself — are you getting $12,500 in services from your government?