nvdaily.com link to home page

Traffic | Weather | Mobile Edition
      Archives | Subscribe | Special Sections

Local News arrow Alex Bridges arrow Warren County

| 0

Local leaders ask state to pass budget

By Alex Bridges

Warren County leaders say the General Assembly shouldn't let the Medicaid expansion issue hold up a deal on the budget.

The Board of Supervisors this week joined a growing number of elected officials urging "timely" passage of a state budget because local governments rely on those numbers to set tax rates and craft their own spending plans. Additionally, governments must provide figures to local school divisions by May 1 in time for education officials to set contracts with teachers.

State legislators adjourned the regular session March 8 without adopting a budget for the biennium beginning July 1. The General Assembly is expected to convene a special session Monday to work out a budget.

This marks the sixth time since 1998 that the General Assembly has adjourned a regular session without reaching a deal on a budget, according to information from the Virginia Municipal League, a lobbying group that represents towns and cities. The Virginia Association of Counties also recognizes the need for local governments to know what the state budget has in store for them.

VACo Deputy Executive Director Dean Lynch said this week that local governments must rely on the current state figures. The lack of a state budget leaves counties guessing.

"In the end, we're very hopeful that they will negotiate and they will come up with a state budget," Lynch said. "But if they don't, that would be the time for local governments to start doing resolutions, letters, encouraging their local delegates and senators to work and negotiate a compromise because really the deadlines are creeping up on local governments."

Local governments are nearing the point at which they hold public hearings on proposed tax rates, Lynch said.

Warren County supervisors adopted a resolution Tuesday that states the county "relies on the timely passage of a budget to allocate funding to local government services and make policy and personnel decisions for the upcoming fiscal year." The resolution goes on to state that "failure to pass a timely budget will result in uncertainty for Warren County, which receives a significant portion of its funding as direct aid from the Commonwealth."

Supervisor Tony Carter said at the board's meeting that the General Assembly should pass a budget and then deal with the issue of Medicaid expansion.

"Frankly, they shouldn't be holding the whole state budget hostage just for this one issue," Carter said.

Board Chairman Daniel Murray Jr. concurred, noting the local need for state budget numbers.

"I think so county government can move forward we need to do this," Murray said. "We're being held hostage at this time and we can't be held hostage."

In response to a question from Supervisor Archie Fox, County Administrator Douglas Stanley said the local government in the past has passed a budget based on estimated state data. The county then has had to adopt resolutions that clean up the local budget once the General Assembly and the governor adopted a state spending plan.

"The problem is, certainly, if this drags on into June then we have more of an issue," Stanley said.

Stanley reminded the board that state code requires the county provide a budget to the school system by May 1. At the same time, Stanley noted that county needs to determine by mid April the tax rates so the commissioner of the revenue can begin to send out bills.

"Again, we can make some assumptions and move forward," Stanley said. "If we get caught and we're short on funding, that's going to cause some problems."

The Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors adopted a similar resolution last week.

Resolutions can help local governments and elected leaders have their concerns heard, Lynch said.

"They're advocating for a state budget and most of these resolutions and letters go to their local elected officials," Lynch said. "I know for a fact that legislators look at each and every one of these things that's coming from their localities.

"The more pressure that's put on them, the quicker they'll [pass a budget]," Lynch added.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com

Keep up to date on local news

Sign up here to receive Northern Virginia Daily news delivered to your email box each morning and when breaking news occurs.


Comments that are posted represent the opinion of the commenter and not the Northern Virginia Daily/nvdaily.com. View our comments/submisssions policy. Report abuse by clicking the X next to the comment.

Local News Sections

Affordable Care Act Agency on Aging Agriculture Alex Bridges Apple Blossom Festival Aviation Basye Berryville Boyce Breaking News Business Charities Civil War Clarification Clarke County Colleges Corrections Courthouse Notes: Permits, Transactions Courts & Legal News Crime & Public Safety Economy and Jobs Edinburg Education Edward N. Bell Election 2012 Election 2013 Entertainment Environment Fairs & Festivals Fire & Rescue Fishers Hill Fort Valley Frederick County Front Royal George Washington National Forest Guest Column Hard Times Health History Holidays Homes In The Spotlight Jeff Nations Joe Beck Josette Keelor Katie Demeria Kim Walter Ledger Livestock Local Markets Maurertown Media Middletown Military & Veterans Moms Mount Jackson New Market Page County Pets & Animals Politics Progress 2013 Progress 2014 Quicksburg Religion Rockingham County RSW Jail Ryan Cornell School News Shenandoah County Shenandoah Farms Volunteer Fire Department Star Tannery State Stephens City Steven A. Boyce Strasburg Toms Brook Traffic & Transportation Utilities Valley 911 Warren County Weather West Virginia Winchester Woodstock Year in Review

News | Sports | Business | Lifestyle | Obituaries | Opinion | Multimedia| Entertainment | Classifieds
Contact Us | NIE | Place a Classified | Privacy Policy | Comments/Submissions Policy | Subscribe

Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily | nvdaily.com | 152 N. Holliday St., Strasburg, Va. 22657 | (800) 296-5137

2013 Virginia Press Association Sweepstakes Winner
The Best Small Daily Newspaper in Virginia!

nvdaily.com | seeshenandoah.com