RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) — Governor Bob McDonnell may have less than 30 days left in office, but Monday he has one very important assignment left to do — deliver a two-year budget to state lawmakers.
Under Virginia law, even though a new governor is set to assume office in January, the outgoing governor still prepares the budget. When Virginia sets its budget, it does so for two years.
While the exact details of the governor’s budget are yet to be revealed, McDonnell has already held separate events announcing key parts of his budget plan.
McDonnell announced an increased amount of funding for Pre-K and K-12 Education totaling $582.6 million. The governor also announced $183 million for higher education.
Apart from education, McDonnell announced last week $38 million in new revenue to address mental health issues, a hot topic in the aftermath of the St. Sen Creigh Deeds stabbing.
Additionally, McDonnell announced $11 million for a new slave heritage site to be located in Richmond, as well as several millions of dollars to improve the Virginia foster care system.
“This is really his final act,” CBS 6 political analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth told CBS 6 political reporter Joe St. George.
But Holsworth added that the McDonnell budget will not include Medicaid expansion, an issue that Governor elect Terry McAuliffe campaigned heavily on – creating a possible point of contention with what McDonnell will outline Monday.
“I think we are setting up that tension for the legislative session and that’s going to be one a lot of people are going to be focused on,” Holsworth added.
One element of the equation that might ease any potential bumps in the road is that McAuliffe announced he will re-appoint McDonnell’s Secretary of Finance Rick Brown. Brown will serve his 12th Governor.