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It's looking unlikely that state lawmakers will pass budget amendments before July 1st

Mallory Noe-Payne
/
Radio IQ

Virginia's next fiscal year is fast approaching. And it could start with some uncertainty.

All those bills the General Assembly passed earlier this year will become law on July 1st – the beginning of the new fiscal year. But the money from budget amendments to pay for all those new laws might not be there. Former Republican Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling says the current standoff over budget amendments actually has a pretty simple solution.

"There has to be something in this for Republicans. That's going to be more tax cuts. There has to be something in this for Democrats. That's going to be more spending," Bolling explains. "So, the solution is easily obtained if the parties want to obtain it."

But maybe they don't want to obtain it. Or at least maybe they don't want to obtain it until after the new fiscal year starts. Senator Scott Surovell is a Democrat from Fairfax County who says lawmakers can return to the Capitol and pass budget amendments whenever they want.

"We could amend this budget in July, August, October, even in December if we wanted to," Surovell says.

So far, there's been no movement toward calling a special session for the budget anytime soon. And many senior members of the money committees are currently engaged in fiercely competitive primaries. That's why many lawmakers are starting to believe a special session for the budget won’t happen until after July the 1st.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.