Congratulations to Jody Wagner, who won the nod to be the Democrat's candidate for Lieutenant Governor. You can be sure that she is hoping that Virginians will not notice a certain small blemish on her resume. Ms. Wagner, you see, was Governor Kaine's first Finance Secretary, and under her leadership, the Kaine Administration began to amass a dismal record of projecting the state's revenues. Ms. Wagner left the Administration after so badly missing the revenue projections for the Kaine Administration's first budget that we were running deficits within 3 months of the beginning of the budget cycle. Sadly, the Kaine administration has never recovered and has continued to deliver deeply flawed and politically motivated budget projections. Ms. Wagner, meanwhile, is looking for a promotion.
May revenue reports, out today, show that Virginia is once again in the hole, this time by $288 million, with a month to go in FY 2009. Revenue collection from January through May is down over 15% over the same period the previous year, with no sign of abatement, and the year to date decline is already at 9.3% – worse than the Kaine Administration's revised forecast of 7.3% delivered in February – with a month left to go. In fact, closing the books on a balanced budget will require an 8.1% increase over June 2008 receipts. FY 2010 is rapidly approaching; it begins on July 1, 2009. The budget for FY 2010 relies upon projections of 4.4% annual revenue growth. Sadly, it is all too apparent that rosy revenue projections have failed us yet again, and that the FY 2010 budget is on advanced life support before it even gets out of the gate.
Virginia State Senator