Budget deal reached by conferees

Del. Phil Hamilton is reporting via his Facebook page that the House and Senate conferees have agreed to a budget:

Budget Deal Reached
Today at 4:56pm
Budget Deal Reached

Hamilton Proud of House Conferees

RICHMOND, VA (2/28/2009) As the clock approached the midnight hour Friday night, Delegate Phillip Hamilton (R-Newport News) and the other five House budget conferees finalized an agreement with the Senate conferees on amendments to the state’s two-year budget.

The major objectives for the House were to prevent the immediate closure of several state facilities for the disabled, add mental retardation waiver slots over what the Governor was proposing, provide for a large revenue reserve to protect against future revenue losses, provide for structural balance in the funding of public education, restore funds to higher education to moderate recent tuition increases, and prevent the early release of certain convicted felons from state prisons as proposed by the Governor and the Senate.

On all of these objectives, the House conferees were most successful.

“In spite of the significant economic downturn, the House conferees defined core service priorities and used budget reductions and additional federal revenues to protect the core services of the Commonwealth in a fiscally responsible manner,” said Hamilton.