Virginia finished the previous fiscal year with enough surplus funds to provide state employes with a 3 percent pay bonus in December, Gov. Bob McDonnell’s administration has confirmed.
McDonnell will brief the General Assembly’s money committees Wednesday morning on final state revenue totals for the fiscal year that ended June 30, but an administration spokesman confirmed tonight that the surplus revenue and additional agency savings will exceed the target needed to give workers a bonus in December. McDonnell said earlier today that he was “pretty optimistic” that Virginia would have the money needed to cover the bonus.
McDonnell announced last month that the state closed the books on the fiscal year with $129.2 million in surplus general fund revenue collections. A McDonnell spokesman confirmed tonight that state agencies achieved more than $100 million in additional savings, more than enough to cover the cost of the bonus. Approximately $80 million is needed to pay for the bonus, which lawmakers authorized by putting contingency language in the state budget.
“We have spent a lot of time with our agency heads asking them, ‘Don’t do what Washington does; don’t go and have a spending spree at the end of the year,’” McDonnell told reporters this afternoon. “Save money, conserve resources. One, it’s the right thing to do; two, it’s your job as a good steward; but three, if you do, then you can share in the proceeds.”
The state has finished each of the last three fiscal years with surpluses. Two years ago, the state reported surplus revenue and savings of $403 million. Last year, the total was $544.8 million.
Most of the $129.2 million revenue surplus announced last month is obligated by law — $78.6 million to the “rainy day” reserve fund, $12.3 million to the Water Quality Improvement Fund and $20.2 million to transportation. The remaining revenue and additional agency savings will be put toward the employee bonuses.
– Michael Sluss