RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Gov. Ralph Northam told state lawmakers Tuesday that Virginia is starting the new budget cycle “in a good place,” with a revenue surplus swollen by federal tax law changes and $1.6 billion banked in reserve.
In a speech to the General Assembly’s money committees Tuesday, Northam said the state ended the fiscal year with a surplus of $797 million. Much of that money is already earmarked for water quality and taxpayer relief.
Northam said the state put $344.4 million into reserves, bringing the total reserve fund to $1.6 billion by 2021, the highest amount ever.
“We start out this budget cycle in a good place, and we all can, and should, take credit for that. We have accomplished a great deal working together.”Ralph Northam, Governor of Virginia while addressing the committees.
“As we go into this new budget cycle, we must be both cautious and strategic,” he said.
The state is preparing to return $431 million to taxpayers who will receive one-time checks of $110 for individuals and $220 for couples sometime between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15.
The refunds will be sent out weeks before elections that will determine control of the legislature. Republicans now have a narrow edge in both chambers.
You can read the Governor’s full address here.