The Northern Virginia Daily's Political Depot

A service for our readers outside the Northern Shenandoah Valley... a sampling of The Daily's political coverage, plus unofficial, 'reporter's notebook' stuff. And occasional dry humor...

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Location: Strasburg, Virginia

Monday, March 27, 2006

Raw Data: Kaine Press Release

This just came over from the Executive Mansion. I'd link it, but there's no link as of yet.--GS


~ “Caboose Bill,” Biennial Budget Bill to form basis for Assembly’s work ~

RICHMOND – Governor Timothy M. Kaine today submitted two budget bills for consideration by the 2006 Special Session of the General Assembly, which convened at noon today to continue work on budget and transportation issues.

House Bill 5003 and Senate Bill 5001, the so-called “caboose bill,” covers state spending for the remaining three months of Fiscal Year 2006. House Bill 5004 and Senate Bill 5002 represents the biennial budget for 2006-08.

These bills build on the introduced budget and incorporate Governor Kaine's executive amendments submitted in January, including his transportation proposal, and also include new amendments, including:

· $285.5 million to cover the cost of reclassifying proceeds from the automobile insurance premium tax from the General Fund to transportation.

· $39.5 million to fund an increase in the salary adjustment for teachers, principals, assistant principals, librarians, guidance counselors and aides, from 3.0 percent to 4.0 percent, effective December 1, 2006. The average teacher salary in Virginia currently sits at 95 percent ($45,377) of the national average.

· A one-time appropriation of $12 million to be distributed to localities to support firefighting activities. Firefighters are among first responders to terrorist attacks, hazardous substance spills, natural disasters and accidents.

· $16.4 million in funding to localities to cover the cost for enhanced retirement benefits to sheriffs’ deputies.

· approximately $3.5 million to prevent 60 mostly urban local governments from receiving less in HB599 law enforcement funds than they received last fiscal year.

· An amendment to increase the retirement multiplier for state police troopers from 1.7 to 2.0 percent, and to provide the necessary funding to pay into the Virginia Retirement System. This action will enhance the retirement benefits for state troopers and will encourage more individuals to consider becoming state troopers in a tight and competitive job market.

· $3 million to raise the cap on the distribution of profits to localities by the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Since FY 2005, such distributions have been frozen at $4.1 million per year due to budget constraints.

· an additional $1.6 million for the Virginia Department of Veterans Services to hire 15 additional service administrators and claims examiners to assist the approximately 750,000 military veterans who live in Virginia apply for federal benefits.

· $1.3 million to provide a $2,000 re-enlistment bonus for eligible members of the Virginia National Guard who re-enlist between April 1st and September 30, 2006.