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Updated: McDonnell recommends new budget process

Anita Kumar

Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell said today that he will try to revamp the state's budget process so that the governor who proposes a budget is able to follow it through.

This year, for example, outgoing Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine introduced his two-year budget Dec. 18 with just 18 days left in his term as he is required to do. His budget will be altered by McDonnell, who submits changes just days after taking office.

"Regardless of who is governor, or the political parties they represent, such an arrangement does not serve the public's best interest nor does it create a fiscally prudent planning process,'' McDonnell said in a statement. "It needs to be reformed."

McDonnell proposes moving the budget process to odd-numbered years (from even-numbered years). The change would allow an incoming governor to make alterations to the second year of his predecessor's budget and would allow him to be in office for the drafting and oversight of two full budgets.

McDonnell said in a statement his proposal has broad support from Kaine, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R), Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli (R), key legislators, business leaders and others. (Cuccinelli actually proposed this change twice in bills in 2003 and 2004).

"It is important, especially in tough fiscal times, to continue to look for positive reforms in all areas of government, to make it simpler and more efficient and to get results,'' he said. "This is one which will lead to a smoother budget process for the benefit of all involved."

By Anita Kumar  |  December 28, 2009; 3:46 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Posted by: iofferkicks286msncom | December 28, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

This makes sense. Will be interesting to see if the legislature is willing to cede what they perceive as more power to the governor and approve this. Of course, allowing governors to serve 2 terms in a row would also help with continuity, but the legislature has never been willing to give the executive branch that much power.

Posted by: ChrisD4 | December 29, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Without consulting any of my thoughtful friends who have been through more Virginia Budget cycles than I have been on earth, this seems like a good idea to change the budget cycle.
Given that, it would be smart for Gov-elect McDonnell to find a democrat to be the Patron of such a bill.
It shouldn't be difficult, if it truly is a good idea. The Democrats are far less partisan than the Republicans, at least so it seems.

Posted by: Democracy_Maven | December 29, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

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