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House and Senate Negotiators Reach Budget Deal

House and Senate budget negotiators have reached an agreement on the state’s two year spending plan and the General Assembly returns to Capitol Square today to consider it’s passage.

The plan reduces the new spending introduced in Governor McDonnell’s outgoing budget in December, by over 800 million dollars. The rest of the state’s projected 1.55 billion shortfall will be offset by the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

The biggest cuts come in Higher Ed at nearly 214 million dollars, Health and Human Resources at 182 million, Central Accounts at 178 million and K-12 Public Schools at 106 million. There are smaller reductions across the board in all other major departments.

Untouched is the new $37 million investment in mental health services.

Senate Leadership in both parties expect the budget to pass in an orderly manner late this evening or early tomorrow.