McAuliffe announces state budget cuts, says more may come

RICHMOND, Va. (AP/WRIC) – Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced a series of budget measures that includes canceling pay raises, trimming the state’s payroll, and using the state’s rainy day fund.

McAuliffe announced the measures Thursday at the Capitol, adding that he’d had to make difficult decisions and there may me more to come.

The state is facing a potential $1.5 billion budget shortfall due to lower-than-expected income and sales tax collections. To address the shortfall, McAuliffe is making cuts throughout state government, including delaying grant payments and new hires and eliminating 26 current positions.

“We cannot continue to leave this money on the table,” McAuliffe said. “As you’ve all heard me say standing here today, Virginia as of right now has forfeited $7.9 billion dollars.”

McAuliffe, a Democrat, has also indicated he’ll try to convince the GOP-led General Assembly to approve expanding Medicaid, which he said would help alleviate budget problems. Republicans are unlikely to approve such a proposal.

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