Raw Data: Kaine responds to McDonnell
~ On the advisory opinion of the Attorney General ~
RICHMOND – Governor Timothy M. Kaine issued the following statement today upon the release of an advisory opinion by the Office of the Attorney General:
“The Attorney General and I are unified in our desire that the General Assembly meet its responsibility to complete a budget before the end of the fiscal year. I commend the Attorney General for his efforts to help secure a budget bill, which is a fundamental legislative obligation.
“While I remain hopeful and insistent that a budget deal will emerge in the coming days, it is important for the citizens of Virginia know that they can continue to rely on the government services they expect, in any circumstance. Today marks the 149th day since the start of the regular legislative session and 74 days since the start of a special session that was meant to result in a budget. There are only 22 days remaining in this fiscal year. The General Assembly still has time to pass a budget, but they must act very quickly.
“In the meantime, I will take such executive steps as are necessary during the remainder of June in order to meet government commitments in the new fiscal year.
“Although there has been some discussion of temporary authorization bills to extend spending power beyond June 30, I believe there should instead be a focused and concerted effort to pass a budget bill in the next few days.
“On May 23, the Senate made a fundamental compromise in response to a demand by the House leadership to separate transportation and tax increases from the budget. The House should now move promptly to work with the Senate on a budget that takes care of the non-transportation needs of the Commonwealth.
“The House asked that the transportation crisis be addressed after the budget was resolved. At this point, that is how the General Assembly should proceed. There should then be no further obstacles to steadfast, good-faith negotiations to reach a budget deal.
“As we draw closer to the June 30 fiscal year end without a budget, I remain resolved to carry out our laws, ensuring the continuity of the government services Virginians rely on.
“Article V of Virginia’s constitution states that the Governor shall faithfully execute the laws. I intend to carry out my oath of office to uphold this constitutional obligation.
“In the coming days, my office will continue to work closely with members of the legislature, the Attorney General, my cabinet, state agency leaders, and local government officials to ensure the safety and welfare of Virginians in the event this uncertainty regarding the budget continues.”