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Not a lot of cheers for Kaine's budget proposal

Rosalind Helderman

We're up with our first take on Gov. Tim Kaine's budget proposal, which will be expanded and enlarged as the day goes on.

In the meantime, reactions are starting to come to the proposal, and they are not terribly pretty. Neither Kaine's cuts nor his proposals to raise revenue are going to be popular. For instance, the Virginia Governmental Employees Association says in a statement that between a continued salary freeze, new employee contributions to pensions and hundreds of additional layoffs, Kaine's proposal is a "gut shot" to state employees. "We are severing the limbs of the nation's best managed state government," it says.

Republicans are rejecting Kaine's proposal outright. But Democrats, too, seem hardly thrilled. Sen. J. Chapman "Chap" Petersen (D-Fairfax) wrote on his blog that there is no way he would vote for the proposal, noting he would hit lower income people as well as higher income folks. "Hell no. Not for this Democrat."

It should be noted that Kaine does have sponsors--Del. Bob Brink is pushing the measure in the House. And, in an interesting twist, the proposal's Senate sponsor is Sen. Chuck Colgan, chairman of the finance committee, and the first guy to propose eliminating the car tax--way back in the 1990s, even before Gov. Jim Gilmore made it a central part of his 1997 campaign. Colgan suggested replacing the revenue with a sales tax increase; now Kaine proposes an increase in the income tax instead.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  December 18, 2009; 12:42 PM ET
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Next: McDonnell opposes Kaine's proposed tax hike

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