Showing posts with label Budget. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Budget. Show all posts

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Mr. Howard Mowry's Comments At November 12th School Board Meeting

1. Accountability and performance have a lot in common, without one serving the other, then one could possibly consider fraud.  This division does have some serious problems, but all schools are accredited.

Of special interest is the amount of absenteeism in the system especially the high school. Reviewing the 2019 records 329 students were chronically absent, meaning 10 per-cent or more days for the school year.

This amounts to 3,290 school days at an approximate cost of $68.31 a student or $244,740 of wasted taxpayer’s contribution to the system for one school. Combining the elementary and middle schools the total was 368 or $251,381. A grand total right at a half million for the school year not counting those with less than 10 days out.

Since the funding for the school system is divided three ways the only marker for accountability is the local contribution. Years ago, a sitting board raised the percentage by 6 points above the composite index figure where it has stayed ever since.

Recommend that to improve upon and decrease absenteeism the Board of Supervisor’s reduce funding by a given percentage point/s until attendance hits a pre-determined level of accountability.

At the same time with all these students absent, all the schools are accredited, 94 percent graduate on time. One needs to consider either the student is smarter than the teachers, or the system has been dumbed down so far even a moron is a genius. I wonder what the businessman has to say about our graduates. A survey may be helpful.

2. At the same time when we talk funding by the state, they fund under many standards unknown by the general public. If our composite index is 38 cents, then the state would provide 62 cents to meet the operating revenue fund for the county.  Wrong they only fund 52 percent, or a shortchange of approximately 2 million.

Additionally, the budget when approved may not reflect the true revenues since the funding is set on attendance at the end of September the first month of the new school year. This revenue amount is also adjusted at the end of March of the same school year, which could be a plus or minus of students, also effecting the

Development of the next fiscal budget year.

The solution is for the school board with cooperation with other boards request the General Assembly review their multiples of funding and reduce the process to a local standard percentage of revenue intake and have the state provide the rest.

If this is not possible then one might possibly perceive that in reality, we are broke or bankrupt.

I thank you for the time.

Publisher's Note: School Board Chairperson, Robin Rice only allowed 3 minutes for comments even though there were only a handful of people at the meeting. She did not allow Mr. Mowry to complete his comments.

Video Of November 12th School Board Meeting

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Are Gloucester County’s Budgets By Administrator Fedors As Spectacular As York District Supervisor Bazzani Claims?

During a recent Gloucester County candidate forum, York District Supervisor Phillip Bazzani touted his vast experience in creating and managing budgets involving substantial amounts of money. He further insisted he knows every aspect of Gloucester’s 2018 budget. Supervisor Bazzani has also repeatedly publicly asserted that County Administrator Brent Fedors’ budget documents are the best he has seen in the 34 years he has lived in Gloucester. Are these assertions true? Here is what we know to be true and factual.

When Mr. Fedors presented his first budget to the Board of Supervisors and the public, it lacked details that were present in budgets prepared by his predecessors. When we pointed this out to Mr. Fedors he said,

“While we are not planning to add that level of detail to the proposed budget book for FY17, we are preparing a supplemental information piece for Board Members that does. I will make sure you get a copy when it is ready.”

After receiving his response, we forwarded the email conversation with Mr. Fedors and the following statement to the Board of Supervisors.

“I and others find Mr. Fedors' budget proposal and last response disturbing for a number of reasons and hope the majority of you do as well. Foremost, Mr. Fedors' budget process does not appear to include transparency; as the Code of Virginia requires the People to be presented information at the same time as the governing body. (Unless otherwise exempted by FOIA) Mr. Fedors' budget process does not appear to include an acceptable level of transparency which has led to restricting the People from data that is necessary to evaluate how their tax dollars are being spent. I will not say much more at this time as I understand Mr. Fedors' is new to the government game. On the other hand, his staff certainly are not. One would hope they would guide their new boss in a better direction.”

Mr. Fedors provided us the information piece as he promised, but even after we expressed our concerns to him and the Board of Supervisors, his FY18 budget demonstrated the same lack of transparency. Again we contacted Mr. Fedors via email to request line item data, which the Finance Director provided.

What we find concerning is the fact that Mr. Bazzani publicly stated Mr. Fedors’ FY17 Budget was the most comprehensive budget document he has seen in all his years of managing budgets. How could anyone make such a statement about a budget document that lacks the amount of detail Mr. Fedors’ lacked? The FY17 budget email conversation we have shared below clearly demonstrates the Board of Supervisor did not have the necessary data to effectively scrutinize Mr. Fedors’ proposed budget until several days after Mr. Bazzani praised Mr. Fedors.

We have provided Slideshare presentations of both of Mr. Fedors’ budgets and the last budget his predecessor prepared. We have provided our email conversations with Mr. Fedors, the Finance Director and the Board of Supervisors, as well as Slideshare presentations of the data we were forced to request from Mr. Fedors. We have also provided some video clips for your enjoyment. Though there are numerous other transparency shortcomings and many wasteful spending practices that we have not touched on here, we ask you to take special notice of the difference in the amount of data provided for budgeted expenditures for each department. You will see that Mr. Fedors combined budgeted expenditures into three line items for each department, whereas his predecessor had many more line items for each department. What are they trying to hide??

Written comments may be emailed to
Supervisor Bazzani stating he knows every aspect of the budget


Supervisor Bazzani praising Mr. Fedors' FY17 budget even before Mr. Fedors' information piece with detailed data was provided.

FY16 Budget (General fund expenditures begin on Slideshare page 75)
FY18 Budget (General fund expenditures begin on Slideshare page 71)
FY17 info we were forced to requested from Mr. Fedors
FY18 info we were forced to requested from Mr. Fedors
Email conversation about FY17 budget

03/20/16 at 11:57 AM

Board Members,

I and others find Mr. Fedors' budget proposal and last response disturbing for a number of reasons and hope the majority of you do as well. Foremost, Mr. Fedors' budget process does not appear to include transparency; as the Code of Virginia requires the People to be presented information at the same time as the governing body. (Unless otherwise exempted by FOIA) Mr. Fedors' budget process does not appear to include an acceptable level of transparency which has led to restricting the People from data that is necessary to evaluate how their tax dollars are being spent.

I will not say much more at this time as I understand Mr. Fedors' is new to the government game. On the other hand, his staff certainly are not. One would hope they would guide their new boss in a better direction.


----- Forwarded Message -----
From: "Fedors, Brent"

To: Kenny
Sent: Saturday, March 19, 2016 10:41 AM
Subject: Re: 2017 Budget

Mr. Hogge -

While we are not planning to add that level of detail to the proposed budget book for FY17, we are preparing a supplemental information piece for Board Members that does.

I will make sure you get a copy when it is ready - likely Tuesday.


On Mar 17, 2016, at 9:22 AM, Kenny wrote:


We are looking for a proposed budget document that contains at least as much information as the 2016 budget proposal which can be found at:'s%20Proposed%20Budget.pdf?ver=2015-03-05-090048-737

A "general fund expenditure budget" as presented in the 2016 proposal is one example of the expanded data we would like to continue to see and are hoping the Supervisors are already assessing as they process the FY17 proposal. 


From: "Fedors, Brent" <>
To: Kenny
Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2016 12:37 PM
Subject: Re: 2017 Budget

Mr. Hogge -

There are also copies of the book available for public review at both libraries and in the County Administration office.

Please let me know if there are specific questions you have that I may be able to address - I'm glad to help in any way I can.


On Mar 16, 2016, at 9:55 AM, Kenny wrote:

Hello Mr. Fedors,

I would like to get a copy of the "2017 Budget Book" that has been provided to the Supervisors. The information posted on the County's website is not detailed enough for the People to do any sort of analysis of what is being proposed.

Thank you sir,

Email conversation about FY18 budget data

Mar 20 at 11:15 AM

To Kenny

Message body

 Attached is the information as requested.

 1st tab – General Fund by Expenditure Line Item

2nd tab – Provides information on the Total Transfers Out line item from the General Fund

3rd tab – Capital Projects

4th tab – External Agencies Funding Request and what is included in the Proposed Budget

Please let me know if you have questions or need anything further.



From: Fedors, Brent
Sent: Sunday, March 19, 2017 2:06 PM
To: Kenny
Cc: Tinsley, Stephanie <>; Lewis, Christi <>
Subject: Re: FY18 Budget Info Request

Mr. Hogge -

I am forwarding this to Ms. Tinsley who will coordinate our response.

Thank you for your inquiry,


On Mar 19, 2017, at 9:51 AM, Kenny wrote:

Hello Mr. Fedors,

Hope this finds you in good health and spirits.

Can I get a copy of the proposed FY18 line item budget and proposed capital improvement expenditures? If possible; I would also like something that reflects the name of all external agencies/nongovernmental organizations that are requesting FY18 funding and how much each is asking for. Electronic copies are preferred.

Thank you,


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Gloucester, Virginia Public Hearing On Proposed $64 Million FY18 Budget

Image result for property tax images
Image the property of

“Taxes” One of the dirtiest words in the English language. The word “taxes” is not dirty because We the People don’t want to contribute our fair share of money to pay for necessary services and operations. The word is dirty to us because of the extreme level of corruption, fraud, waste and abuse that is associated with our tax dollars.

Our local government is recommending a 1.5 cent increase to the current 69.5 cents rate; raising the rate to 71 cents per $100 of assessed value, but they are advertising a possible rate increase as high as 73 cents in their recent Public Hearing announcement. According to the announcement, the Board of Supervisors will hold a Public Hearing on next year’s budget at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 in the T.C. Walker Education Center auditorium.

Before taxes are raised again, our local government should make the following changes:

1) Consolidate our local government and public school system departments. This one action will result in over a $1 million reduction in yearly operating costs.

2) Eliminate the County’s department of community engagement and return all functions to social services, information technology, county administration, the school system and the various nongovernmental organizations the department facilitates. This action will save the taxpayers close to $400,000 per year.

3) Build our own libraries and health department space so the taxpayers can stop renting them. Owning our health department space will also result in an $80,000 yearly revenue stream from rent payments received from the state. All together this move will result in a yearly savings of around $210,000 and create $50,000 or so in additional revenue after expenses.

4) Limit the number of full time animal control employees to two, redirect animal control response calls through the Sheriff’s department dispatcher and cease all patrolling by animal control employees. This will result in a savings of well over $100,000 annually.

The changes we have outlined will result in a combined saving of around $1.7 million per year and create an $80,000 revenue stream. Now it is time for you, the taxpayers and citizens of Gloucester County, to decide what our local government will do. Continue to raise taxes or cut unnecessary costs and get our financial house in order? 

The March 29th Public Hearing will be the ideal time to let those who work for us know it is time to drain the swamp and set things straight. Remember, three supervisors and three school board members are up for reelection this November. Hold them accountable.

The following is a SlideShare presentation of this year’s proposed line item budget, proposed capital expenditures and a list of the nongovernmental organizations asking for tax dollars. It is best viewed in “full screen” mode. Just click on the diagonal double arrows. 

Public Hearing Agenda:

MARCH 29, 2017
07:00 P.M.


Complete E-Packet

I.Call To Order & Roll Call

II.Invocation & Pledge of Allegiance

III.Introductory Comments – Phillip N. Bazzani – Chair

IV.Proposed Tax Rates and Budget Synopsis – J. Brent Fedors – County Administrator

V.Public Hearing on Proposed FY 2018 Budget
Link to proposed budget

VI.Public Hearing on Proposed Tax Levies for Calendar Year 2017
Supporting Document

VII.Board Comments

VIII.Review of Budget Adoption Schedule – J. Brent Fedors – County Administrator
FY 2018 Budget Calendar

Public Hearing Notice:

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Gloucester's Over Inflated Budgets?

If you listen to the present board of Supervisors and the present county administration, these folks are doing everything they can to keep taxes down.  Are they?

  Let's look at the facts.  On the one hand, I would say they are trying to keep present costs within control.  But they are not really doing anything to cut taxes by cutting out ridiculous government programs they like to tell us are services.  Zoning, not a service.  Planning, not a service, building and codes, not a service.  These departments should be cut and the money returned to the people.

  There is also too much fluff in many departments that one has to question if that many people are really needed to run them?  Present budget being presented to the board is maintaining present level so called government services that we simply do not need nor want.  The school board is the biggest factor in tremendous waste.  Way too many administration personnel that I would love to see fully justified and not with lip service that means little to nothing but sounds good.

  We have problems with department heads that earn in the neighborhood of one hundred thousand a year that could not and I will repeat, can NOT transfer those same skills to the private sector and earn even close to those wages.  Something is horribly wrong here.  I am not knocking the people in those jobs, most do a great job.  But when the same skills pay much lower in the private sector, then we have a major disparity going on in our government.

  We have people in government who are empire building and all at the expense of the taxpayer.  If you want to build an empire, great, I am all for it, in the private sector.  Not at the cost of the taxpayer.  The school board comes to mind here as these folks have been wasting taxpayer dollars to the tune of millions that we have shown over and over on this site.  Did I say education?  I meant indoctrination.  Schools no longer educate.  They indoctrinate the children who will never question.  They might ask questions when they do not understand the directive, but they are taught to not question the directive.  Indoctrination costs more than education.  We see this reflected in our taxes as they continue to skyrocket each year.

  I get tired of the lip service paid each month at the county meetings and it turns out to be nothing more than lip service with no real actions.  Charging people a fee to get a business license?  That means you do not have the right to start a business without government permission.  Not exactly what the framers of our Constitution had in mind.   That also means you are paying a tribute to the government for the privilege of allowing you to put your savings at risk.  That's pretty sad.

  Freedom is gone as long as you are forced to pay for starting a business, maintaining your business every year, what you can do with your land, how and what size signs the government is going to allow you to put up, and then you have to collect taxes for the government at your expense?  Really?  Really!  We are being fooled and robbed at every turn and there is no end in sight.

  Yet everyone thinks this is all normal.  No one studies history to see this is all only about 70 years old and grew very slowly.  Our government officials thinks these concepts are normal and have not looked into history to see that it is not.  Nor will they.  In fairness, our board is comprised of some great folks that are decent people and a good time to talk to.  As individuals, I have the utmost respect for them.  As a collective, they are thieves as long as they continue to perpetrate these frauds against the taxpayers and business owners.  They each need to go back through history and return to the principles of our founding fathers.

  Tear down the services that are not services but instead government theft with no value.  You do not attract business by demanding tributes be paid to the government before the government even thinks about what they will allow and what they will restrict you with.  I don't care every locality does it.  I don't care the state and federal government allows it.  That does not make it right.  In fact, the federal courts have said it is illegal when it comes to planning and zoning when planning and zoning goes outside the purview of government owned lands and properties.  The same has also been said about business licensing.  But who listens to the courts?

  Some will argue that some of the services like zoning are good and protect the rights of private property.  I disagree and there are plenty of market conditions that can easily be put in place that do not require government interference.  These so called services are nothing more than socialist programs.  Socialist programs are not du jur where one gets to pick and choose what programs they like and what programs they do not like.  Under socialism, you get it all like it or not.


  I post this yet again for those who question any of the freedoms argued above.  Before you make one single argument, know your facts first.  The above starts to give you some of those facts.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Governor McAuliffe Creates Contingency Fund for Virginia Ebola Response

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that he has created a contingency fund of up to $2 million to help address specific public health and safety risks associated with the exposure to or threat of exposure to Ebola. 

“There have been no confirmed cases of Ebola in Virginia, but my administration continues to prepare so that we can respond quickly to this public health threat if it reaches our state,” said Governor McAuliffe. “This $2 million contingency fund will help state and local agencies cover costs in the event of a confirmed case, and allow responders to focus more on protecting Virginia families than on covering costs in the event of an emergency.”

The Governor is using the authority given to him in the Appropriation Act to grant supplemental funding for state agencies where a delay in action will produce a threat to life, safety, health or property. (Section 4-3.01 a.2.c. of Chapter 2 of the 2014 Special Session 1).

These funds will be used to reimburse state agencies for extraordinary expenditures related to specific incidents and actions taken by agencies related to exposure to Ebola, and/or the threat of the spread of Ebola into the general population.  This includes, but is not limited to, expenses associated with monitoring citizens exposed to Ebola, direct patient care, and transportation.   This funding is not intended to reimburse agencies for routine or ongoing program expenses associated with the agency mission.  These funds will not be used to supplant other eligible sources of fund including federal or private insurance funds.

Approval of requests for reimbursement of expenditures from this funding will undergo several levels of review by the responsible cabinet secretary and the Department of Planning and Budget to verify costs and justification. Final approval of disbursements will be made by the Governor on a case by case basis.

(You first have to buy into the fear that Ebola may even be a threat.  Well that's what you are supposed to believe because that is what everyone is telling you.  So you must buy this and own it as truth.  Now we can take your tax dollars and use that against you to take more of your freedoms.  Thank you for your participation.)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Governor McAuliffe Announces Actions on the FY2015 Budget

At a press conference in Richmond, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced the savings actions he will execute to eliminate the revenue shortfall in the Virginia budget for Fiscal Year 2015.
Due to revenue collections that came in under the budget projection set in 2013, the Governor asked executive branch agencies to submit budget reduction plans of 5% for Fiscal Year 2015 and 7% for Fiscal Year 2016 in order to close an $882 million budget deficit. Today’s announcement focused on the Governor’s budget reduction strategies for FY2015. 
“Making these budget reductions has been the most difficult experience of my term so far,”said Governor McAuliffe.  “In a government as lean and well-run as ours, there are few spending cuts you can make without impacting the lives of Virginians. The goal was to keep lay-offs to a minimum and protect our core services. The budget I present in December will be a sound and balanced approach to navigating the challenges we face and building a foundation for a stronger economic future.”
Below are a copy of the Governor’s prepared remarks.

Governor’s Remarks - Budget Savings Plan Announcement

Good Morning.  Thank you for being with me here today.

Today, I am here to announce my actions on the budget for fiscal year 2015.  After much deliberation, discussions and hard decisions, I am presenting today the approved budget savings plan. 

Before I begin, I want to discuss the process, which is almost as important as the outcome. 

When I came into office in January, I promised to work together with the General Assembly to find common ground on issues of importance to all citizens of the Commonwealth.    From SOL reform to transportation prioritization to job creation, we came together to make Virginia a better place to live, work and prosper. 

Toward the end of the fiscal year, we started to see revenues not meet the forecast set out in 2013, before I took office.  This would create a shortfall for fiscal year 2014. 

I took immediate action.

First, I notified the leadership of the money committees and promised to work with them every step of the way to fill this shortfall.

Second, I directed all agencies to be prudent and curb any excess spending.

The General Assembly created budgetary reserves totaling $846 million in the current Appropriations Act.  In addition, $705 million could be withdrawn from the Revenue Stabilization Fund during the two year period.  These two items provide a “cushion” of $1.55 billion to address the revenue shortfall.   

Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough. 

The total shortfall in the new interim forecast is projected to be $2.4 billion. This means the problem remaining is $882 million.   Of this amount, $346 million will have to be found in this fiscal year, while $536 will be needed in fiscal year 2016. 

On August 15th, I asked all agencies to submit budget reduction plans of five percent in fiscal year 2015 and seven percent in fiscal year 2016.  These plans were due on September 19th to my office. 

During this time, I worked closely with the leadership of the General Assembly to set out the parameters for the cuts.  The outcome was HB 5010, a supplemental appropriations bill that outlined the process and the amount of cuts from four areas:
  • From executive branch agencies, $92.4 million in FY15 and $100 million in FY16
  • $45 million each year from higher education
  • $30 million each year from local governments
  • $102 million in unobligated balances in FY15 and $262 million in FY16

In addition, the bill authorized use of the Revenue Stabilization Fund for both fiscal years 2015 and 2016. 

I asked for three things to be a part of HB 5010, and I am glad to see they were all included in that legislation. 

The first request was that there would be no cuts to K-12 education in the first year.  We need to protect our core services including K-12.  All school divisions have already started the school year with a set budget adopted last spring. 

It would be irresponsible to make changes now.

Second, I asked that the money designated for “A Healthy Virginia”, my healthcare access plan, be preserved.  This bill gives me flexibility to utilize the remaining balance in the Health Care Fund to move forward with these much needed initiatives.

Finally, this budget bill allows me to reallocate $5 million for economic development and workforce training - both top priorities of mine.   

Making these decisions today has been an exhaustive process.  We have worked hard over the past few weeks to get to where we are today.  Some initial options were unacceptable, and we had to ask for a different strategy. 

My goal was to keep lay-offs to a minimum and protect our core services.  The 565 lay-offs that will result from these actions comprise just half a percent of our state workforce of 120,000 full time equivalents, both wage and salary. Ninety percent of these lay-offs are from the Department of Corrections alone. 

I have been working with the Department of Human Resource Management and have put a plan in place to give these individuals the resources they need to find future employment.  Had we not prioritized state employee jobs, this situation could have been far worse. 

In addition to our efforts limiting layoffs, these are some of the other themes that define the actions we are announcing today:

  • We are improving business practices and efficiencies
  • We are eliminating unneeded contractors, including outside consultants and attorneys. 
  • We are leaving vacant positions unfilled. 
  • We are using nongeneral fund money instead of general funds when feasible and allowed by law or contract. 

Specifically, we are doing the following:

  • For Department of Corrections, we are closing a correctional facility, a community corrections residential facility, a diversion center and delaying the opening of a women’s correctional facility.   This equates to $4 million in savings for FY 15
  • In the Department of Social Services, we are using one-time child care remaining balance of $2.7 million
  • For state police, we are selling one airplane and only filling 27 out of the 68 vacant trooper positions.  In addition, the state police will find an additional $4 million in operational efficiencies
  • For ABC, we are increasing the product mark-up on distilled spirits resulting in $2.5 million. 

On December 17th, I will present to the General Assembly the budget for fiscal year 2016. 

We will continue to review the 7% cuts in the second year, and I am not ready to make these decisions at this time. 

I have asked my staff to look at alternatives. Let me be clear - everything is on the table.

If we can preserve core services that Virginians need by adjusting fees or eliminating tax preferences, we should. The budget I present in December will be a sound and balanced approach to navigating the challenges we face and building a foundation for a stronger economic future. I have enjoyed a strong working partnership with the leadership of the General Assembly on these issues so far, and I am looking forward to continuing our collaborative work in the 2015 session.

Making these budget reductions has been the most difficult experience of my term so far. In a government as lean and well-run as ours, there are few spending cuts you can make without impacting the lives of Virginians.

While this budget plan represents a sensible approach, I am cautiously optimistic about the fiscal future ahead. Some areas of the economy are recovering slowly while other areas remain stagnant. It is my hope that we have set our revenue estimate low enough that our slow recovery may boost our budget to the point where we could begin to undo some of these cuts and strengthen the investments our economy needs. But until we actually see that happen, we have a responsibility to remain cautious in the face of an uncertain future.

Later today I will meet with the Joint Advisory Board of Economists (JABE) to seek their council.  I will heed their advice as well as the Governor’s Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates when they meet on November 24th.  

While I believe they too will remain cautious, the news has not been all bad. As we announced yesterday, preliminary total revenues for the month of September were up 5.3 percent and through the first quarter of fiscal year 2015 they are up 6.7 percent, ahead of the annual estimate of 2.9 percent. 

This is the first time revenues have increased three months in a row since the second quarter of calendar year 2013. 

Payroll withholding came in strong with 8.3 percent for the month due to an additional deposit day.  Sales tax collections are up about 3.5 percent for the month and are up 4.6 percent for the quarter.  This is ahead of the projected growth of 4.4 percent.

Recordation taxes finally had a positive month after falling for 13 straight months.  We saw a 1.9 percent growth in the month of September.

Even though this is positive news, we need to be prudent in the fiscal decisions we make. 

As we saw last year, an unexpected revenue decline could be just around the corner. In the midst of uncertainty over sequestration and the federal budget, we have an obligation to prepare Virginia as much as possible for the reduction in federal spending that we know is coming.

The reductions we are announcing today are a short-term response intended to insulate Virginia from the possibility of even further cuts. And in the long-term, as I have said before, we must work together to grow and diversify our state economy so that we are no longer subject to Washington uncertainty.

And so my focus will remain on building a new Virginia economy that is stronger, more independent and more resilient. My administration is hard at work pursuing that goal on all fronts.

We are working to strengthen our education and workforce development system so that we are giving every student the skills he or she needs in a 21st Century economy.

Yesterday, we unveiled the 2014 Virginia Energy Plan, which will help drive our economy into the future by growing key sectors like wind, solar, nuclear technology and natural gas so that we can offer businesses the cheapest, cleanest and most abundant energy in the nation.

We are continuing to grow and strengthen our transportation infrastructure in ways that encourage economic growth and raise Virginia’s quality of life.

Our outstanding quality of life, world class workforce and outstanding infrastructure are real assets.  And so is Virginia’s long-standing reputation for sound management, even in the face of difficult situations.

This budget shortfall is not what I had hoped to be dealing with in my first year as Governor, but I am proud of the manner in which leaders on both sides of the aisle came together to address it.

Thanks to the hard work of Secretary Ric Brown and his team, who worked alongside Chairmen Colgan, Stosch, Jones and their staff, we are meeting these challenges in a way that protects our core assets, minimizes layoffs, and positions our Commonwealth for future growth.

While I know we all hope that the budget news from here forward will be more positive, all Virginians should be encouraged to know that their leaders are capable of coming together to get things done for the good of the Commonwealth.

Thank you.  I will now be happy to take a few questions.